Japan’s ex-princess Mako, new husband depart for life in US

Japan's former princess Mako Komuro (centre), the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and her husband Kei Komuro (second right) walk to their departure gate for their flight to New York at Tokyo's Haneda international airport on Nov 14, 2021.

TOKYO – Japan's ex-princess Mako, the emperor's niece, departed the country with her new husband on Sunday to start a new life in the United States.

Known as Mako Komuro after giving up her royal title to marry college sweetheart Kei Komuro last month, the former royal and her husband, both 30, walked past waiting journalists at Tokyo's Haneda International Airport before boarding an ANA flight for New York.

Well-wishers waved from the terminal as the plane left the gate.

Their marriage captivated Japan and ignited a public dialogue about gender roles and media coverage of the royal family. Mako was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder this year after their engagement was plagued by a money scandal, intense media scrutiny and the couple's three-year separation.

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After the wedding, Mako, daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, received her first passport so she could accompany Kei to New York, where he works at a law firm.