Princess Mako to lose Japan royal status by marrying commoner
A member of Japan’s royal family, Princess Mako, is to surrender her royal status by marrying a commoner.
The 25-year-old eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito will become engaged to law firm worker Kei Komuro, also 25, whom she met while studying together.
Japan’s imperial law requires a princess to leave the royal family after marrying a commoner.
The move is expected to reignite debate on royal succession, with the emperor also possibly abdicating soon.
Ten things about Japan’s emperor
Princess Mako and Kei Komuro met in 2012 at a restaurant, when they were both studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo.
What happens now?
The Imperial Household told local media that plans were under way for the princess’s engagement.
The engagement will only be official after a ceremonial exchange of gifts, local media said.
Public broadcaster NHK said the wedding is expected to take place next year.
Asked about their engagement plans, Mr Komuro on Wednesday was quoted as saying: “Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time.”
Has this ever happened before?
Yes, Princess Mako’s aunt Princess Sayako married a commoner in 2005 – the first time a Japanese royal became a commoner.