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Japan

Japan’s Princess Mako diagnosed with PTSD as marriage date is announced


By Presidencia El Salvador from San Salvador, El Salvador, América Central - Visita Princesa Mako de Akishino 18, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

Japan’s Princess Mako of Akishino has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the Imperial Household announced her wedding date this month to her fiancé, Kei Komuro.

The Princess has been unwell since 2018 and has been diagnosed with a complex form of PTSD caused by psychological abuse of her and Komuro and their families.

The psychiatrist who diagnosed Mako, Tsuyoshi Akiyama, said complex PTSD develops as a response to repeated trauma experiences like verbal abuse and cyberbullying.

Despite the new diagnosis and troubles surrounding Komuro and his family’s finances, the couple will finally wed on 26 October without the traditional imperial ceremonies. Instead, they will hold a joint press conference that day to share their feelings and will register their marriage before relocating to the United States. Komuro is employed in a New York law firm.

Because of the financial controversy, the traditional ceremonies will not be held. Mako’s father, Crown Prince Akishino, believes that since many Japanese people do not support the union, the imperial ceremonies should not be held. A close friend of his said that not allowing these rites is “almost equal to disowning Princess Mako” for the heir to the throne. However, in November 2020, he shared his support for the marriage.

Princess Mako will, however, meet her uncle and aunt, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, who, according to Yasuhiko Nishimura, grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, “wish that (the couple) will have a happy life in the future.”

Her Imperial Highness will also meet her grandparents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko and visit the Imperial Palace Sanctuaries (which enshrine the spirits of the Imperial Family ancestors). All of this will be done without her fiancé.

Princess Mako will also not receive a lump sum payment from the government like other female members of the family have received upon their marriages. This is upon Mako’s request, and the Imperial Household has agreed to honour her request. She will be the first female member of the family not to receive a lump-sum payment or the traditional rites in the post World War II era.

Under Imperial Household law, female members of the Imperial Family must leave the Imperial Family and renounce their status upon marriage to a commoner.

Komuro returned from the United States last week. He and Princess Mako met at university in 2012 and became officially engaged in 2017. They were set to wed in November 2018, but it was delayed after a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her ex-fiancé came to light. Allegedly, the ex-fiancé loaned Komuro’s mother money that was spent on Komuro’s education.

In April this year, Komuro released a statement to try to clear the air regarding the financial dispute. He offered to pay back the money to his mother’s ex-fiancé but stressed that he and his mother believed the money was a gift. His attorney said he was planning to discuss a settlement with the ex-fiancé.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.