TOKYO -- Princess Mako's longtime boyfriend Kei Komuro said in a statement released on Jan. 22 that he considered financial issues between his mother and her former fiance had been settled, and he will try to seek an "understanding" over the controversy.
The first public statement on the matter from 27-year-old Komuro came after the princess's father Prince Akishino told a press conference before his birthday in late November last year that the Komuro side "needs to clear the issue" in connection with the reported controversy over financial assistance they had received.
The young couple announced in September 2017 that they were engaged with the Emperor's blessing, and they would wed on Nov. 4, 2018. But the postponement of the marriage until 2020 was announced by the Imperial Household Agency in February 2018, following a spate of reports about Komuro's mother's involvement in a financial dispute.
In the latest statement, Komuro acknowledged that he received financial assistance from his mother's fiance after their engagement in September 2010. However, the man unilaterally told the mother that he wanted to cancel the arrangement two years later, and told her that he had no intention of asking for the return of the money when she sounded him out about the issue. "The two confirmed that the financial matter, including assistance and compensation, had been settled completely," the statement said.
Then in around August 2013, according to Komuro, his mother received a letter from the former fiance asking for the repayment of the financial assistance. The mother, surprised by the abrupt demand that was against his previous word, sought the advice of an expert. She also told the man to his face that she could not accept his demand. The former fiance replied that he would talk to an expert, but he never contacted them about the issue again, the statement said.
"Because of these developments, my mother and I understood that the issue of assistance from the former fiance was a settled matter," Komuro wrote. However, reports about financial issues began to be reported based apparently on the fiance's comments in December 2017. "We became extremely upset because we couldn't figure out the intention of the person," he stated.
A paralegal at a Tokyo law firm, Komuro is now studying in a three-year course at Fordham University's law school in New York in a bid to pass the state's bar examination.