Japanese Princess Mako Gives Up Her Title to Marry College Boyfriend

Japan princess announces engagement with commoner

Japan princess announces engagement with commoner

Princess Mako is not the first princess to marry a commoner as Princess Sayako, the youngest and only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, married a commoner in 2005.

Princess Mako is set to lose royal status according to law in Japan's monarchy which underlines male-dominated nature.

Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Japanese Emperor Akihito, officially announced her engagement with Kei Komuro, a former university classmate.

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Komuro, dressed in a navy blue suit, expressed his feelings toward the princess, shared his experiences from his days with her, and said when he sees a attractive moon in the night sky, he instinctively calls for Mako.

During a press conference, both of them told the media that their relationship started when the princess sat behind him at a campus meeting five years ago at Tokyo's International Christian University, where they graduated.

The marriage could also reopen debate on the law that has been governing the royal household since 1947 that doesn't recognise the so-called collateral institutional branches, resulting in women who marry out of royalty to lose their royal status.

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A series of related rituals, including a betrothal ceremony (nōsai no gi), will be carried out before the couple's wedding, which is expected to take place in autumn next year at the earliest. Kei reportedly proposed to Mako back in 2013, but the princess's grandfather, Emperor Akihito, did not officially approve the engagement until September 3.

This means Princess Mako, the daughter of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, and Kiko, Princess Akishino, will have to relinquish her royal status and be registered as an ordinary citizen following her marriage to Komuro.

The announcement was originally expected in July, but it was later postponed after a rain disaster hit western Japan.

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It's a fact that concerns those who want to preserve the royal family by letting women who marry continue performing their public duties, but a government panel on the emperor's abdication avoided the divisive issue. In return, Komuro replied that the princess has been watching over him "like the moon". The law does not apply to royal males. She is the aunt of Princess Mako.

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