Japan Has Issue With Word Used to Describe Princess' Fiancé

Imperial Household Agency asked Fordham to amend a press release
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 7:12 AM CDT
Japan's Princess Mako delivers her speach during her visit to the Nikkei Association, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Mako is in Brazil to take part in celebrations marking the 110th...   (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
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(Newser) – One word in a press release put out by Fordham University Law School in New York has attracted international attention—attention strong enough to get Fordham to tweak the release. The egregious word? "Fiancé." It was written in reference to Kei Komuro, who is set to begin studying for his master's degree in law on a full scholarship next month. He's also engaged to marry Japan's Princess Mako. The press release identified him as her "fiancé," and the word choice apparently rankled Japan's Imperial Household Agency, which handles royal protocol. The New York Times reports a rep for the agency told reporters Komuro "does not have the status of being engaged and therefore is not a fiancé."

The university explained the removal (you can see the updated release here) was done "out of respect" for the agency's protocol and traditions, one of which is the Nosai no Gi—a royal engagement ceremony that was supposed to occur on March 4. It was postponed after the agency in February announced the 26-year-olds' wedding wouldn't occur in November as planned, with the Japan Times reporting at the time that a "lack of preparation" and "immaturity" were cited as the reasons for the delay to 2020, though tabloids have speculated that alleged financial troubles on the part of Komuro's mother played a part. The Japan Times used the word "fiancé" in its own report on Komuro's university plans, noting that after the one-year program, he hopes to continue for two more years in order to secure a degree that would allow him to practice law in the US. (Mako will lose her royal status after the wedding.)

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