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JAPANESE PRINCE MEETS WITH FIANCEE

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Crown Prince Naruhito met privately with bride-to-be Masako Owada Wednesday afternoon at the Togu Palace in central Tokyo for the first time since news of their engagement broke a week earlier.

"We haven't met for a while so I'm looking forward to talking about many things," a smiling Owada said.Police escorted Owada from her home at 1 p.m., running a gauntlet of media and neighborhood well-wishers on the street waving and snapping photographs of her. She arrived at the palace 19 minutes later.

Wednesday's meeting was the couple's first since Dec. 25, when Owada visited Akasaka Palace in the center of Tokyo to meet her future in-laws, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Since the news of the marriage broke, Owada had remained holed up in her home in the exclusive Meguro suburb of Tokyo away from the prying eyes of a legion of television crews and journalists.