Friday, January 28, 2022

Japan’s prince says royal family must deny extreme attacks NWN News

TOKYO (NWN) – Emperor Naruhito’s younger brother, Japanese Crown Prince Akishino, has complained about harsh criticism of his daughter’s recent marriage and suggested the royal family should be allowed to refute false and extreme attacks .

Currently, family members are generally expected to tolerate any criticism with little public grievance.

The crown prince’s daughter, former Princess Mako, married her college sweetheart Kei Komuro last month, without a traditional wedding ceremony, due to public criticism of a financial dispute involving the groom’s mother. Their marriage was delayed by three years.

“The libel, whether in magazines or online, is unacceptable,” Akishino said at a news conference that was recorded last week and released on Tuesday to mark his 56th birthday.

He described some magazine reports as fabricated, while others contained “heard-of” opinions. But he said some of the comments on social media were “terrible.”

Akishino’s grandfather, the late Emperor Hirohito, was revered as a deity until the end of World War II, which was fought in his name. But today the royal family is often the subject of gossip magazines and social media comments.

Palace doctors said in October that Mako was recovering from a post-traumatic stress disorder, which she developed after seeing negative media reports about their marriage.

Akishino’s mother, Empress Emerita Michiko, the wife of former Emperor Akihito and the first commoner in modern Japanese history to marry an emperor, collapsed in 1993 after persistent negative media coverage and temporarily lost her voice. In response, the Imperial Household Agency set up a website to address some of the questionable reports.

There should be “certain norms” that allow the royal family to respond to libel beyond the limits of tolerance, Akishino said, adding that he planned to discuss the issue with palace officials.

He said that libel hurts many people and can even lead to suicide.

Mako announced in September 2017 that she intended to marry the following year, but financial disputes involving her father’s mother surfaced two months later and the marriage was suspended.

The couple now live in New York, where Komuro works at a law firm. The dispute was resolved when he paid the disputed money just before leaving Japan.

Critics say Mako’s marriage highlights the hardships faced by women in the royal household.

Mako lost her royal status because Japanese law requires female royals who marry commoners to leave the family. Imperial House law allows only male succession.

With the departure of Mako, the size of the royal house was reduced to 17. Naruhito has only two possible male heirs – Akishino and his son Hisahito – except his 85-year-old uncle, Prince Hitachi.

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