On February 9th, Japan’s Imperial Household Agency announced that the wedding of Princess Mako of Akishino, to her classmate Kei Komuro, which was announced last September, would be postponed. Both the ceremony of betrothal involving an exchange of gifts, previously scheduled for March 4, and the wedding itself, previously scheduled for November 4, have been delayed. It is now thought that the wedding will happen in 2020, after the abdication of the present Emperor and the enthronement ceremonies of the present Crown Prince.
The Imperial Household Agency’s official statement is as follows.
The ceremonies surrounding the marriage of Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino, beginning with the ceremony of betrothal, have been postponed to a later date.
The new dates of the ceremonies will be announced at another time, but out of consideration for the series of major ceremonies scheduled for next year, the new dates will be planned for the following year so as not to interrupt the series of ceremonies.
Her Imperial Highness and her fiancé, Kei Komuro, have offered the following sentiments regarding the schedule change.
“Regarding the various events surrounding our wedding and our married life thereafter, the two of us together, and with our respective parents and related figures, have discussed the wedding preparations, which continue to advance. However, during that process, we have become aware that there has not been sufficient time to prepare for the scheduled events or our married life.
“We would like to reflect on events up until now. Last May, reports of our engagement were announced against our expectations. This was a source of some confusion for us, but as it was our intent to wed, we judged that it would be better not to draw out an ambiguous situation, and cognizant of the new weight it would put on our plans, we announced our intentions. When the engagement was announced, we were truly grateful to receive messages of congratulations from a great many people. Subsequently, last November, we made and announced plans for the various events that would follow.
“However, now we think that we were perhaps too hasty. We should have been more careful about whether this pace was appropriate for us, but with the announcement of our engagement, as well as with the resolution of further matters, we chose to move forward as announced.
“Now, we have come to think we should prepare to meet the juncture in life called marriage in better form. In giving this much thought, we have come to believe it is better to proceed as carefully as possible toward our wedding, as well as in the preparations for our life afterward. We would have liked to arrive at that level of preparedness before the announcement of our engagement was made, but as this did not come to pass, we wish to apologize for our immaturity.
“Considering these things, on the advice of our parents and those close to us, we have arrived at the judgment that our marriage and the various events surrounding it should be postponed until the year after next, so that the significant series of ceremonies for the Imperial Household may be completed without interruption.
“We bear the burden of causing much trouble to those who are assisting with our wedding by making this major change to plans already announced, which we deeply regret.
“I have reported my desire to postpone the events surrounding the wedding to Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress. Their Imperial Majesties indicated their respect for our wishes.
“We consider this postponement a good opportunity to take time to think about the best way to begin our new life, and we would like to cherish the time leading up to our marriage.”