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Man refutes claim by Princess Mako's boyfriend financial dispute settled

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro are seen after a news conference in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Sept. 3, 2017, to announce that their engagement had been unofficially decided. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- A former fiance of the mother of Princess Mako's boyfriend Kei Komuro has rebutted the claim that financial trouble between the mother and himself has been settled.

The man, who claims that he lent approximately 4 million yen in cash to the mother of 27-year-old Komuro, said in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Jan. 22 that the dispute "hasn't been settled." The former fiance said, however, that he is prepared to have talks with Komuro's mother over the matter.

Through a lawyer, Komuro released a statement earlier on Jan. 22 saying that he considered financial trouble between his mother and her former fiance had been settled, and that he will try to seek an "understanding" over the issue.

According to the statement, Komuro's mother got engaged to the man in September 2010. Komuro's family received financial assistance from the man, but their engagement was scrapped two years later at the request of the fiance.

Although Komuro's mother told her former fiance that she would "clear the issue," the statement claims that the family received a reply from the man that he had no intention of asking for a return of the money.

Sometime around August 2013, the man demanded that the Komuro family pay back the money, but the mother told him that she could not comply, Komuro claimed.

In the statement, Komuro apologized for having failed to provide a clear explanation over the matter.

"I deeply regret having failed to provide a thorough explanation and causing trouble to many people as a result," the statement said. "We will try to gain understanding from the former fiance."

Weekly magazines and other media outlets began reporting the financial trouble between Komuro's mother and her former fiance in December 2017 after the Imperial Household Agency announced that the engagement between Princess Mako and Komuro had been unofficially decided.

In February 2018, the agency announced that ceremonies relating to their marriage would be postponed until 2020 from November 2018 as originally scheduled.

At a news conference in November last year, Prince Akishino, Princess Mako's father, said that the Komuro family should resolve the trouble if they want the wedding to proceed. "If the two still have feelings for marriage, there should be responses accordingly," he said.

A high-ranking official of the agency said, "With regard to whether Mr. Komuro's explanation will be understood, we have no choice but to watch the development."

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takashima, City News Department)

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