Former princess Mako Komuro, who married commoner Kei Komuro on Tuesday, said their marriage was a "necessary choice" and she wants to lead a "peaceful life" in a new environment after years of public controversy over a family financial dispute.
Speaking to the press after registering their marriage, the former princess said she understands there are differing opinions about their union and apologized to people who were affected. But she said it was necessary for them to "live while cherishing and protecting our feelings."
Kei Komuro, the former princess's university sweetheart who currently works at a law firm in New York, said, "I love Mako-san. I'd like to spend my life with a person I love." The suffix of "san" in Japanese is used between people with equal status of any age.
The newlyweds, both 30, held a press conference for the first time since announcing their unofficial engagement in September 2017. This time, they only made opening remarks and provided written answers to questions submitted beforehand by the media, as the former princess has been struggling with a mental health condition.
"We will start a new life together. I know there would be different types of difficulties in our lives, but I would like for us to overcome them together as we have done until now," said Mako Komuro, who lost her royal status upon marrying a commoner as stipulated in the Imperial House Law.
Kei Komuro said he will "do whatever possible" to resolve the money trouble involving his mother and her former fiance while voicing regret at how the couple and their families became the targets of constant criticism since magazines first reported on the financial dispute in December 2017.
The former princess, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, has been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, the Imperial Household Agency recently said.
"For the past few years, incorrect information was treated as if it was true, and I am very saddened that Mako-san had problems on her physical and mental health due to defamation," he said.
The former princess also said she was "horrified, scared and saddened by the fact that false information has been taken as fact and that unfounded stories have spread" every time she heard speculation that her partner had made unilateral decisions, not caring about her feelings.
"My condition at the moment is not very well, but I have been able to get by so far with the help of the people around me," the wife said.
She said her husband's response to the money trouble and his decision to study at a U.S. law school reflected her wishes.
In a written response to a question about her worries in her new life, the former princess said, "If I have to pick the biggest concern, it would be continued libel against myself or my family, or Kei-san or Kei-san's family." The couple is expected to start a new life in New York.
Kei Komuro said his mother had fallen mentally ill and could not meet her former fiance to resolve the dispute over 4 million yen ($35,000) in financial support provided to her. The former princess said she is aware of how her husband has been trying to settle the dispute.
Following brief opening remarks, written responses by the couple to five questions submitted in advance by the media were distributed, and the couple exited the room in about 10 minutes.
The newlyweds were originally scheduled to give verbal answers to the questions. But the agency abruptly announced on Monday night that they would provide written responses in consideration of the health of the former princess, who "feels a strong sense of anxiety" providing verbal responses.
They did not provide specifics about their new life in New York, saying in the written response that it is a "private matter."
Mako Komuro said she does not have any particular thoughts about the comparison of the couple by some media to Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who moved to the United States, and is not considering giving any interviews at the moment like the one the British royal couple did.
"What I would like is just to lead a peaceful life in my new environment," the former princess said.
Gist of press conference by ex-princess Mako Komuro and Kei Komuro
Former princess Mako Komuro:
-- said husband is "irreplaceable," and marriage was a "necessary choice" for the couple.
-- feels relieved that the marriage went ahead despite controversy over financial dispute involving partner's mother.
-- wants to create "a loving family in a peaceful environment."
-- said her condition is "not very good" after being diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
-- worried about "continued libel" against the couple, their family.
-- said she cannot explain yet how it feels to leave imperial family and become a commoner.
-- advised her husband on how to respond to the financial dispute.
-- does not have any particular thoughts about marriage being compared to that of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
-- said he will "do whatever possible" to resolve a money issue between his mother and her former fiance.
-- said he has tried his best to respond to the dispute but is not in a position to determine whether his efforts were enough.
-- was saddened that his wife had physical and mental health problems due to "defamation."
-- wants to support former princess so her condition improves.
-- understands negative views on the marriage among the public, but starting new life with former princess is important.
Princess Mako marries commoner boyfriend after years of controversy