In this issue

Justin McCurry

For some, the blanket coverage of Japan’s latest round of imperial nuptials was a welcome respite from the coronavirus pandemic and what turned out to be only modestly distracting lower house elections. But the marriage between Mako and Kei Komuro was like no other royal wedding. The event was shorn of any sense of celebration – in public at least – with the couple only too aware of the opprobrium they would invite should they display the slightest suggestion of joy on what should have been one of the happiest days of their lives. Instead, years of critical media coverage and opposition to their union from a sizeable section of the Japanese public hung over the marriage of the eldest daughter of the first in line to the Chrysanthemum throne. As the Komuros, pursued across the Pacific by Japanese news organizations, attempt to build a new life in New York, now is the time for the country’s media to reflect on their treatment of two young people whose ordeal has left one of them with mental health problems, Kazuko Ito writes in this issue. Philip Brasor, meanwhile, offers an overview of the saga, starting with the moment the couple’s plans started to go awry.

Photography by Nicolas Datiche