Former Japanese princess Mako Komuro and her husband Kei Komuro arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on the morning of Nov. 14 local time (the evening of the same day Japan time), after departing from Tokyo's Haneda Airport on a civilian airplane.
Mako, 30, the elder daughter of Crown Prince Akishino (Fumihito), married Kei, 30, last month and the couple are starting a new life in New York where they have already secured a dwelling. Kei works for a law firm in Manhattan.
When the couple disembarked at the airport, the temperature in New York was 4 degrees Celsius. Mako was dressed in a dark green coat, while Kei was in a sweater. Showing no fatigue from the long flight, they bowed several times when members of the press posed questions to them, before getting into a van awaiting at the airport.
Mako apparently looked relieved to have safely arrived in New York. She bowed several times and smiled to those concerned who welcomed her at the airport, before Kei encouraged her to get into the vehicle.
Kei, who is seeking to become a lawyer in the United States, temporarily returned to Japan on Sept. 27 to prepare for their marriage. The couple filed their marriage report on Oct. 26 and Mako thereby left the Imperial Family. After moving into a condominium in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, they were preparing for their move to the U.S. including Mako's acquisition of a passport.
On Nov. 12, Kei met his mother's former fiance over a financial dispute. According to attorneys of both parties, the ex-fiance agreed to receive settlement money proposed by Kei, and both confirmed that the case was closed. The settlement money was about 4 million yen (about $35,000), the equivalent of the amount of assistance the man had provided to Komuro's mother.
Mako and Kei started going out when they were students at International Christian University in the Tokyo suburbs. They were informally engaged in September 2017, but their marriage was postponed after the financial row between Kei's mother and her ex-finance surfaced through media reports. Kei subsequently moved to the U.S. and was enrolled at Fordham University law school in New York. At a recent press conference attended by the couple, Mako revealed that it was she who asked Komuro to establish a base outside Japan.
While Kei failed the New York state bar exam, he is apparently seeking to pass the test on a second try in February next year.
(Japanese original by Toshiyuki Sumi, New York Bureau, and Takeshi Wada, Tokyo City News Department)