Kei Komuro is fluent, but not proficient in Japanese

Kei Komuro is now the new husband of the Japanese princess, Mako Akishino. Kei Komuro claims to be working as a law clerk and proudly strolls the streets of New York. Japanese netizens have noticed his profile differs from other colleagues.

Difference between Kei Komuro and other Law Clerks

Kei Komuro is still not given a profile photo

Despite working at Lowenstein Sandler for months, his profile photo was removed. There are only 2 law clerks without a profile photo at Lowenstein Sandler.

Kei Komuro

Here’s what a regular employee profile is supposed to look like

Why has Kei Komuro not been given a company photo? Searching his name gives over 2,430,000 in search results with his images so privacy can’t be a reason.

Kei Komuro is FLUENT in Japanese?

Kei is fluent in Japanese

Kei Komuro is FLUENT in Japanese, Other lawyers are PROFICIENT

Lowenstein Sandler writes “Kei is fluent in Japanese” while other law clerks such as Minh Tran as “He is proficient in Vietnamese”

Kei is fluent in Japanese, not proficient
Kei is fluent in Japanese, not proficient

What is the difference between “Fluent” and “Proficient”?

Simply put, proficiency is a higher level than fluent.

The word, proficient, means a well advanced skill level. In terms of language, A native speaker is more than fluent – he correctly and easily uses his first language, in a proper sense as well as understands and can use colloquialisms, idioms and slang.

Difference between Fluent and Proficient

Why is Kei Komuro fluent and not proficient? Didn’t Kei Komuro practice at a law firm in Japan?

According to Lowenstein Sandler, Kei Komuro has experience working in Tokyo at both a law firm and a foreign exchange bank where, as a certified securities broker representative, he provided loan and foreign exchange services and prepared financial analyses for non-Japanese corporate clients.

Shouldn’t this be enough for Kei Komuro to be proficient in Japanese?


2 Replies to “Kei Komuro is fluent, but not proficient in Japanese”

  1. I am also curious to know why Komuro is fluent in his mother tongue while other colleague are proficient in his.
    But I am eager to learn why this guy – who never passed any exam in his life – could be awarded various prizes.
    He did not graduate college, but by that time Komuro had proposed to Mako, and Akishinomiya arranged that he graduated – so there is no reason he was on the dean’s list.
    He got hired by one of the megabanks here in Japan, again Akishinomiya arranged it, but he quit working only after 1 year and 9 months, which is very unusual for young capable workers here. Rumor has it that he did not hand in college graduation certificate to the bank, and as he was so clumsy and irresponsible at doing his job, he chose to leave the bank. The branch he was assigned required someone with dedication and job skills, which Komuro did not or could not have.
    He worked as law clerk for 3 days a week, no overtime.

    I can go on and on about his fake career, but will stop for now.

    Right now he is supposed to be working for LS law firm but with those paparazzis watching their move he was rarely caught commuting to his office. And one photo they could shoot shows how empty his business bag was.

  2. You are making a common mistake in translation, which is very ironic in this case. In America, fluency means native speaking and proficiency means just good enough for a professional environnement. Although some definitions of proficiency specify that one is also fluent (usually in the UK), in a North American context it is implied that there is no higher level than fluency.

    There’s a good description of the different levels of language ability at

    According to this document, a “Proficient” speaker “is very skilled in the use of a language but who uses the language less easily and at a less-advanced level than a native or fluent speaker”.

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