Japan: Princess Mako heading to altar after 5-year romance
By News Desk
17 May 2017

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Princess Mako, the oldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, dated Kei Komuro for about five years before deciding on their upcoming engagement - a happy surprise to her friends and people who have met her during her official visits.  

The princess met Komuro, now 25, in June 2012 at a party for Japanese and foreign students to casually exchange opinions at a western food restaurant in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, according to sources close to Princess Mako. Both were attending the International Christian University (ICU) at the time.

They first dated in July 2012 and have seen each other since then with the consent of her parents.

Princess Mako, 25, and Komuro met mostly on weekends to dine at restaurants in Tokyo, walk in the Minatomirai district in Yokohama, and go to see movies or visit museums. They rarely used a car when on dates, instead taking trains or walking. Security for the young couple was kept to a minimum, in keeping with Prince and Princess Akishino’s wishes, according to the sources.

Princess Mako studied for about a year at the University of Leicester’s postgraduate program from September 2014. She and Komuro maintained their relationship during that time.

Company employee Tomohiko Azuma, 25, from Kawasaki was Princess Mako’s classmate at Gakushuin Primary School for four years. “It’s wonderful news,” he said upon hearing of his former classmate’s plans to get engaged. “It was very unexpected, but I hope she builds a happy family.” 

Azuma said Princess Mako had a steady character, and he sometimes saw her cautioning their classmates not to chat during class. “She had the leadership to keep the class together,” he recalled.

When Azuma saw Princess Mako again at a coming-of-age ceremony, he thought she looked grown-up, but they did not discuss the subject of dating or marriage.

‘Prince of the Sea’

Komuro lives in Kohoku Ward, Yokohama. During his college years, he was a part-time instructor at a Tokyo cram school and also worked part-time at a French restaurant near his house.

When he was 18, Komuro applied to the Shonan Enoshima Queen, Prince of the Sea contest in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, and was chosen as the “Prince of the Sea.”

After graduating ICU, he worked at a major city bank. He is currently employed at a law office in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, while majoring in business law at Hitotsubashi University’s Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy.

“I had no idea” they were dating, said Komuro’s boss at the law office on Tuesday night. “I’m just overwhelmed.”

The news was broadcast Tuesday night, and the boss later received a phone call from Komuro, who apologised for not having informed him. The boss reportedly said,“You surprised me, but it’s great news.”

Since about a year ago, Komuro has assisted lawyers in the office. “Komuro is very diligent at his job,” his boss said.

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