Money row tied to Japan princess’s boyfriend may end in settlement

The former fiancé of the mother of Princess Mako’s boyfriend said Tuesday he wants to enter negotiations on a settlement payment, offered earlier this month by the boyfriend, to end a long-running dispute.

The planned marriage between the princess, the niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and Kei Komuro has been postponed for over two years following media reports of the dispute involving 4 million yen ($36,900) the former fiancé claims the mother owes him.

“I’ve heard that (Komuro’s mother) has been hospitalised for a long time as she has not been feeling well. I would like to hear from her as soon as possible and make a final decision,” he said in a statement released through his representative.

The statement was released after Komuro, a 29-year-old student at Fordham University’s law school in New York, expressed earlier this month his intent to offer a settlement payment, despite saying before that the money in question, including his educational expenses, was provided by the former fiancé as “a gift.”

The man said he wants to negotiate with Komuro’s mother via the representative, a weekly magazine reporter, saying that the planned marriage and the dispute are “separate issues.”

He added, “I am truly sorry for still causing a stir in society.”

But at the same time, he said he is confused as to why Komuro has opted to pay money four days after releasing a 24-page document detailing the money dispute, in which the boyfriend said resolving the problem through talks would be “the best choice.”

The 29-year-old princess is Crown Prince Fumihito’s eldest daughter.

The crown prince, the emperor’s younger brother, has said he approves of the couple’s marriage but suggested it has to be welcomed by the public, urging Komuro to first make a visible effort to settle the dispute.