Japanese princess diagnosed with PTSD ahead of wedding to commoner

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Princess Mako and her fiance Kei Komuro smile during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo in 2017 (AFP via Getty Images)
Princess Mako and her fiance Kei Komuro smile during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo in 2017 (AFP via Getty Images)

Japanese Princess Mako has been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder prior to her marriage to commoner fiance Kei Komuro.

The royal, 29, will marry her former college classmate on October 26 after years of intense scrutiny and criticism that put her engagement in an unflattering light.

Her condition was brought on by media speculation about the wedding, the Imperial Household Agency confirmed on Friday.

It echoes the situation of Empress Masako, who for years has struggled with what has been termed an “adjustment disorder”.

The princess and niece of Emperor Naruhito became engaged to Mr Komuro, a 29-year-old lawyer in New York, in 2017.

Initially the pair captivated the public with their smiles at each other in a news conference to announce the event.

However, tabloid reports soon emerged about a financial dispute between Mr Komuro’s mother and her former fiance and the marriage was postponed in 2018.

In August that year, Mr Komuro departed to attend law school in the United States and didn’t return until Monday.

Japans Princess Mako enters the Imperial Palace to attend the Korei-sai autumn ceremonies in September (JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
Japans Princess Mako enters the Imperial Palace to attend the Korei-sai autumn ceremonies in September (JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Imperial Household Agency, which runs the lives of the royal family, made the announcement of the wedding date at a news conference.

Princess Mako will leave the royal family upon her marriage, as is customary.

None of the ceremonies that usually accompany a royal marriage will take place, and the princess will forego a one-off payment of $1million to which she is entitled, media reports have said.

The couple will register their marriage at a local government office, with records of the imperial family adjusted to reflect that Princess Mako has left it, reports have said.

Japanese Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko (AFP via Getty Images)
Japanese Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko (AFP via Getty Images)

The controversy over the pair’s marriage started when a tabloid reported claims by a former fiance of Mr Komuro’s mother that the mother and son had failed to repay a debt of about $35,000.

Mr Komuro has said his mother’s former fiance provided the money as a gift, not a loan.

The scandal spread from tabloids to regular news media and gained still more life when imperial family members were prompted to speak out.

Mr Komuro will be able to practice law this summer after completing his studies at Fordham Law School this year and taking the bar exam.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

He has secured a job as a clerk in a law office in the United States, according to media reports.

On Monday, he flew into Tokyo for his first visit in three years sporting a ponytail that set off widespread tabloid and television discussion about whether he was being disrespectful.

A recent poll by the daily Mainichi showed 38 per cent of respondents supported the marriage, while 35 per cent opposed it, and 26 per cent expressed no interest.

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