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Japanese Prince Akishino slams media for negative coverage of Mako's marriage

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Japanese Prince Akishino slams media for negative coverage of Mako's marriage
Japanese Crown Prince Akishino speaks to reporters during a news conference on November 25 to commemorate his birthday on Tuesday. Photo by EPA-EFE

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- During an event commemorating his 65th birthday on Tuesday, Japanese Crown Prince Akishino decried the negative media coverage of his daughter, former Princess Mako, over her controversial marriage last month.

Akishino, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, said during a news conference that Japanese media have been "slanderous" and unfair in its coverage of the former princess, who stepped away from her royal duties to marry her commoner fiance, Kei Komuro, on Oct. 26. The couple moved to New York City after the wedding, which had been delayed for three years.

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"Be it in magazines or over the internet, words that deeply hurt anyone cannot be accepted," Akishino said, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

The crown prince also said that various reports about Mako and the Japanese royal family have been false, and added that members of the royal family should be able to refute such reports publicly -- something that, traditionally, has not been done.

RELATED Japan's former Princess Mako and commoner husband move to NYC

Former Princess Mako and husband Kei Komuro are seen after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on November 14. Photo by EPA-EFE

"If you read the tabloids ... there's a lot of things in there that are fabricated, although there are also some opinions we should listen to," he said, according to The Guardian.

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Akishino also said that it was his decision to forego the traditional imperial wedding ceremony. He said he was aware of public unease about paying for such an extravagant event with taxpayers' money, given that a large share of the public did not approve of the wedding -- as well as concern about a financial dispute involving the groom's mother.

Mako refused the $1.3 million dowry payment that's traditionally given to women who renounce their royal status when they marry.

RELATED Japan's Princess Mako marries fiance in Tokyo, gives up royal title

Akishino made the remarks to the Imperial Household Agency press club last week, but they were held for release on Tuesday to commemorate his birthday.

RELATED Princess Mako's wedding receives Japan crown prince approval

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