Princess Aiko of Japan wishes her cousin Princess Mako, who left royal life behind, 'many years' of happiness
- During her first public press conference, Princess Aiko of
Japanpraised her cousin, Princess Mako.
- Aiko, who vowed to fulfill her royal duties, called Mako "kind" and wished her years of happiness.
Princess Aiko of Japan had nothing but kind words for her cousin Princess Mako during her first public press conference since her coming of age ceremonies in December.
As the only daughter of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Aiko cannot inherit her father's title due to Imperial House Law that dictates only men can ascend onto the Chrysanthemum throne, the Japan Times reported in August after an advisory panel of experts gathered to discuss the issue of female
But speaking at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Thursday, she said she will take on her responsibilities as an adult in the Japanese royal family to the best of her abilities and will "value each and every one" of the duties that come with royal life, according to Kyodo News. Aiko, 20, also thanked those who supported her along her journey, extending her "heartfelt gratitude."
Aiko also answered questions about her first cousin Mako, whose wedding to her non-royal college sweetheart in October sparked controversy among the Japanese public and media. In the four years leading up to the nuptials, Mako's relationship with her husband, Kei Komuro, was called into question because of reports his mother was involved in a financial dispute with an ex-partner.
This led to insinuations among the public that he was a "gold digger," according to The New York Times. After tying the knot in a relatively low-key event without a traditional ceremony or reception, Mako and Komuro left Japan for New York City in November, the BBC reported.
Though Mako's decision to marry Komuro was marred by controversy, and even sparked protests in Tokyo during their wedding, Aiko praised her cousin's character at the conference, calling her "a dependable older sister," People reported.
"I will always remember with gratitude how she was so friendly and kind to me," Aiko added, according to People. "As her cousin, I pray that she will be happy for many years."
Aiko also weighed in on what makes the perfect relationship at the conference, according to Kyodo News. Currently a college student, she said it was a long way off for her personally, but said that ideally, it would be a relationship "where both parties can make each other smile by being together."
But like Mako, if and when Aiko ties the knot, her life as an official member of the Japanese royal family will cease, according to the laws currently in place.
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