Economy

Japan's Princess Mako announces engagement to commoner

Japan's Princess Mako announces engagement to commoner

Japan's Princess Mako is set to lose her royal status when she marries next year.

According to Japanese royal laws, women are not allowed succeed to Japan's throne which means that Princess Mako will lose her royal status once she weds the 25-year-old Komuro, a legal assistant who loves playing the jazz piano.

The princess formally announced her engagement to Kei Komuro, a 25-year-old graduate student who is now working at a law firm, during a press conference in Tokyo, the Japan Times reports.

Mako and Komuro, both 25, expressed great joy over the engagement and Emperor Akihito's approval, during a press conference held at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Efe news reported.

"I was aware since my childhood that I'll leave a royal status once I marry", Princess Mako said.

Mr Komuro is studying business law and works at a law firm.

We can't wait for a royal wedding, and we expect Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino will be breaking down some royal barriers as she makes her way down the aisle. He also added that he proposed to her in December 2013.

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They met about five years ago and it is believed that the princess has already introduced Komuro to her father, Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Crown Prince Naruhito. However, the formal announcement of Princess Mako's engagement is expected to reignite discussion of the matter-if only to prevent the end of the imperial line. Because of her abdication, the princess will become the 8 member o the Imperial family to give up royal status in order to marry since World War II.

However, the legislation only applies to Akihito and does not mention what happens to women in the imperial family after they are married.

In the televised conference, Kei Komuro described the princess as someone who quietly watched over him "like the moon".

Japan's Princess Mako got engaged to a commoner on Sunday.

Mako's marriage will further shrink Japan's Imperial family, an aged and dwindling institution heading towards a huge generational gap.

His eldest son, Drown Prince Naruhito will take over the position.