Former Japanese Princess Mako and her husband Kei Komuro start a new life in the United States

Mako Komuro, the Japanese princess who gave up her royal status to marry commoners, arrived in the United States on Sunday with her new husband Kei Komuro, to start their new life.

The couple, both in their 30s, landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and were escorted by security personnel, Japan Public Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Their decision to reside in the US has echoes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the UK to California following reports of quarrels within the British royal family and continued attention from the press.
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Read more: Royal women in Japan and their history of mental stress

Former Princess Mako – niece of Emperor Naruhito – has come under intense public scrutiny in Japan since the beginning of her relationship with Komuro, her college sweetheart. The media storm intensified when Komuro’s mother became embroiled in a financial scandal, leading the couple to postpone their wedding.

Komuro then left Japan to study at New York Law School and only returned in September of this year to fulfill a promise to his fiancée. According to the Associated Press, he has a job at a New York law firm but has not yet passed the bar exam. Media reports said that the couple will live in a rented apartment.

Kazuhiro Nogi/Paul/Getty Images Japanese Princess Mako (right) attends the enthronement ceremony where Emperor Naruhito formally proclaims his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne at the Imperial Palace on October 22, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

Imperial family authorities said earlier that widespread tabloid coverage of their relationship caused the princess to once suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts say the stifling protocol of life in the Japanese royal family places additional pressure on its members, making non-royals think twice before joining the ranks of the empire.

Read more: Princess Mako’s wedding sparks controversy over succession in Japan

“The standards that you are expected to uphold, in your influence, in your behavior, in your entertainment choices, in your education, all of these things, are held to a very high standard that most people find incredibly stifling,” said Shihoku Goto, a Japan expert and senior coordinator. in Northeast Asia at Washington’s Wilson Center, for Time magazine earlier.

The marriage also highlighted the issue of imperial succession in the face of a weak royal dynasty.

Only men can become emperors of Japan, leaving 15-year-old Prince Hisahito, 55-year-old Crown Prince Akishino, and Emperor Naruhito’s 85-year-old uncle, Prince Hitachi, as viable successors.

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