At a press conference held 10 days before his 55th birthday on Monday, Crown Prince Akishino said he approves of his eldest daughter, Princess Mako, marrying her de facto fiance, Kei Komuro.
This was the first time for the crown prince to express his approval of the marriage since it was postponed, although he did not say when the wedding would take place.
At a press conference two years ago, the crown prince said the wedding ceremony could not be held “unless there is a situation in which many people are content [with the marriage] and happy for them.” He had in mind financial troubles involving the Komuro family and having the Komuros take necessary measures.
“If they have a firm resolve [to marry], it should be respected,” the crown prince said at his press conference on Nov. 20, citing a line from Article 24 of the Constitution that reads, “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”
“It’s not a situation where many people feel convinced and happy about the marriage,” he added.
Asked for his thoughts on whether the Komuros have taken necessary measures, the crown prince said: “Have they done nothing? That no one can say.” However, he also said, “It is necessary to make it take visible shape,” expressing his request for the Komuros to provide a detailed explanation on the issue.
The crown prince also said at the press conference that “marriage and engagement are different.” Asked about the schedule ahead, he said, “I will think about it later.” He did not say whether engagement rituals would be held.
Princess Mako and Komuro became unofficially engaged in September 2017. In February 2018, they announced they would postpone their marriage to 2020. Both are now 29 years old.
The marriage was again postponed on Nov. 13. On that occasion, the princess issued a written statement in which she described the couple’s feelings, saying, “The marriage is a necessary choice for us to live a life taking our feelings into consideration.”