Announcement of Princess Mako's Informal Engagement Put Off (News)
Tokyo, July 7 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Imperial Household Agency said Friday it has decided to postpone the announcement of Princess Mako's informal engagement to former university classmate Komuro Kei and other related events scheduled for Saturday, in view of serious damage caused by heavy rain in the northern part of the Kyūshū region of southwestern Japan.
The 25-year-old princess, the eldest of the three children of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and Komuro, also 25, are both deeply concerned about the situation in the areas hit by the disaster and expressed their wish to put off the announcement of their informal engagement after consulting each other, according to the agency.
The couple's wish is supported by the princess' parents and her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, the agency said.
The agency will decide the new date for the announcement and related events by fully taking into consideration the progress in the work to reconstruct the disaster-hit areas, and the schedules of the young couple, the Emperor and the Empress, and Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko.
Under the original plan, Yamamoto Shin'ichirō, grand steward of the agency, was expected to announce the informal engagement of Princess Mako to Komuro at the Imperial Household Agency after the Emperor gives his consent to the couple's marriage in a procedure called "saika" at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Saturday morning.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]