The couple submitted their registration to the local parish office around 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the Imperial Household Agency, forgoing the pomp and customary circumstances of most royal weddings.
In an effort to appease a disapproving public, Mako refused a one-time payment of $ 1 million from the government, to which she was entitled as a departing royal.
At an afternoon press conference, Mako appeared alongside her husband in front of a select group of reporters. The newlyweds apologized for any problems caused by their marriage and expressed their gratitude to those who supported them.
“Until today, there were only limited opportunities for me to express my feelings, and there have been misunderstandings because of that,” she said. “There was really one-sided speculation. I was afraid of such a spread, and I also felt saddened. “
Komuro said “disinformation” had spread over the past four years as if it were true, but thanked those who had helped them under difficult circumstances.
“I love Miss Mako. It’s a once life, and I would like to spend my life with the person I love happily, ”he said. “Mako and I would like to have a warm and pleasant family. At the same time, I would like to do my best to support Mako. Happy times, unhappy times, we would like to be together, and we will be indispensable to each other. ”
The newlyweds are expected to move to New York, where Komuro works at a law firm.
As the Emperor’s niece, Mako was out of line with the throne – Japanese male succession law prevents this from happening. And under Japanese law, female members of the royal household must relinquish their titles and leave the palace if they marry a commoner.
Mako, who will no longer be known as the princess, is not the first woman to leave the Japanese royal family. The last royal to do so was her aunt, Sayako, Emperor Akihito’s only daughter, when she married town planner Yoshiki Kuroda in 2005.
The couple had planned to tie the knot in 2018, but their marriage was postponed. The Imperial Family said the delay was due to “lack of preparation,” but others suspect it was due to reports that Komuro’s mother failed to repay the $ 36,000 she borrowed from her former fiance.
Komuro took issue with the account, even issuing a 28-page statement earlier this year, saying his mother believed the money was a gift and that he would pay to settle the dispute. But tabloid gossip had already multiplied to dissect all aspects of his family and his life.
Some Japanese do not consider the ordinary son of a single parent to be fit for a princess; some media even portrayed him as an unreliable gold digger.
Years of speculation and insults have taken their toll on Mako. Earlier this month, the palace revealed that she suffers from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The princess “feels pessimistic and struggles to feel happy because of the lingering fear that her life will be destroyed,” Princess Mako’s psychiatrist Tsuyoshi Akiyama, director of NTT Medical Center Tokyo, told media at the agency of the imperial house.
Komuro left Japan for law school in New York City in 2018 and only returned in September for the wedding. He arrived in Japan with long hair tied back in a ponytail, which sparked a media frenzy.
The tabloids have published photos of Komuro, 30’s ponytail from all angles, with some comparing it to a samurai’s top knot. On social media, some have tweeted their support for her new look, while others have said it is unsuitable for the groom of a royal bride. Komuro cut her ponytail ahead of Tuesday’s wedding.
A quiet life after the royal outing
Mako and Komuro’s retirement from the royal spotlight is being compared to another famous couple – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Markle’s engagement to British Prince Harry sparked controversy when it was first announced in November 2017. Some believed that a divorced, mixed-race American actress had no place in the British royal family .
Over time, British tabloid media coverage of the couple became so toxic that Harry issued a statement in November 2016 condemning the ‘wave of harassment’ Meghan had to endure. Eventually, the couple left the ship, leaving the British Royal Family in January 2020.
But while Mako’s ‘dramatic’ exit from the royal family is somewhat comparable to ‘Megxit’ – the term for the British couple’s departure – the similarities end there, said Ken Ruoff, director of the Center for Japanese Studies. from Portland State University.
“Members of the British Royal Family grow up amidst great wealth. And they also spend a lot of time fundraising directly for a wide variety of charitable causes, so find out how it works. So when Harry and Meghan went to the United States, telling various stories about the royal family, they managed to make millions and millions of dollars, while also draping themselves in welfare and leftist causes ” , said Ruoff.
“I predict that it is almost impossible for Mako and her future husband to behave like this after their marriage. In fact, I think what’s going to happen is that they’re just going to go away. “
CNN’s Emiko Jozuka and Selina Wang contributed.