Japan's Princes Mako announces engagement to commoner giving up royal status

Japan princess announces engagement with commoner

Princess Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, is expected to abdicate next year - Japan's first abdication in two centuries.

A Japanese princess has confirmed she will marry her "commoner" boyfriend, thereby relinquishing her status as a member of the royal family.

Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Japanese Emperor Akihito, will Wednesday a former classmate, the Imperial Household said on Sunday, confirming a marriage that will further deplete the royal family since she must become a commoner.

Speaking at a press conference Princess Mako said that what attracted her to Komuro was "his bright smiles like the sun".

"I was aware since my childhood that I'll leave a royal status once I marry", she said at a student talk in Shibuya, Tokyo. "I would like to have a family that is always calm and peaceful", he added.

Princess Mako of Akishino has officially announced her engagement to law clerk Kei Komuro, her former classmate at Tokyo's International Christian University. During the program, Komuro went to the University of California in Los Angeles, while Princess Mako studied at the University of Edinburgh.

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Komuro is now working in a law firm while studying business law at Hitotsubashi University.

Japan's Princess Mako is set to lose her royal status after revealing she will marry a commoner. Kei reportedly proposed to Mako back in 2013, but the princess's grandfather, Emperor Akihito, did not officially approve the engagement until September 3.

They plan to get married late next year, the Imperial Household Agency said at the news conference.

As per the report, the couple met five years ago while studying at the same university.

Princess Mako said she had been preparing for the change of her rank since she was little. Japan's Imperiale family was started with wartime emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) and Empress Nagako (1903-2000).

The happy news is not necessarily good news for the future of a royal family facing concerns about a declining population to keep their 2,000-year-old bloodline going. Yet Crown Prince Naruhito has no sons, meaning that the succession would pass on to his younger brother Akishino, Princess Mako's father.

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