Japan Princess to marry former classmate; forcing her to quit royal family

Japan Princess to marry former classmate; forcing her to quit royal family
Princess Mako (R), and her fiancee Kei Komuro (L), smile during a press conference to announce their engagement.

Tokyo - The couple had a long-distance relationship while studying overseas



By AP

Published: Sun 3 Sep 2017, 1:29 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Sep 2017, 3:51 PM

Japanese Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild, Princess Mako, said on Sunday she is getting married to a university classmate who won her heart with bright smiles and sincerity.
Mako and fiance Kei Komuro, both 25, said at a news conference 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.
Princess Mako and her fiance Kei Komuro, attend a press conference at Akasaka East Residence in Tokyo. AP
"First I was attracted by his bright smiles like the sun," Mako said, smiling shyly. They talked for the first time at the event for students ahead of a study-abroad program, and then started dating.
Over time, she said she learned he is "a sincere, strong-minded, hard worker, and he has a big heart," Mako said.
The couple had a long-distance relationship while studying overseas - Mako in Britain and Komuro in the US - for one year. Then Komuro proposed to her after dinner in December 2013.
Mako has since introduced him to her parents, Prince Akishino, second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne, and Princess Kiko, as someone she wished to "share her future with."

Komuro, who works as a legal assistant, said he was so thankful and happy to have been accepted by her parents, and her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He and pledged to have "a relaxed and peaceful" home together.
"Having a family still goes beyond my imagination, but I hope to make one that is warm, comfortable and filled with smiles," Mako said.
Details of their wedding have not been decided, and palace officials say the ceremony is expected sometime around autumn next year.
Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, is expected to abdicate in late 2018. He'll be succeeded by his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito.
Women aren't allowed to succeed Japan's throne. Mako will lose her royal status after marrying Komuro, who is a commoner.


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