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Japan's Princess Mako to give up one-off payment in controversial marriage

September 27, 2021
Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro. — Courtesy photo
Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro. — Courtesy photo

TOKYO – Japan's Princess Mako is set to forego a one-off million-dollar payment for giving up her royal status to wed a college classmate, local media said on Saturday, clearing the way for a marriage delayed for years by controversy over her fiance, CNN reported.

The 29-year-old granddaughter of then-Emperor Akihito and her former college classmate, Kei Komuro, announced their engagement in 2017.

But the following year the couple delayed their wedding, saying they had second thoughts about marrying so soon and needed more time to plan their future together.

Imperial Household sources told CNN at the time the postponement was due to "lack of preparation."

Under centuries-old Japanese law, the marriage between a royal and a commoner would require Princess Mako to give up her royal status.

Departing members are also entitled to a one-off payment. However, the government is set to agree that the princess forego the payment, worth up to 150 million yen ($1.35 million) for royals giving up their status to marry commoners, amid public criticism over her fiance, public broadcaster NHK and others said.

NHK said the wedding date may be announced in October.

Officials of the Imperial Household Agency were not immediately available to comment.

A Japanese broadcaster, anticipating an imminent wedding, recently tracked down Komuro in New York. He was shown sporting a ponytail, a detail that has caused an uproar among some Japanese users of Twitter.

Media have said the couple plan to live in the United States.

Imperial law allows the throne to be passed only to male heirs. The other unmarried princesses of the family would also lose their royal status if they were to marry commoners -- a possibility that could leave the imperial family without enough members to carry out its public duties.


September 27, 2021
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