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Japan's Princess Mako finally marries college sweetheart Kei Komuro after years of controversy

The Princess, who left her family’s imperial residence Tuesday morning, is set to stay in a Tokyo condominium while preparing to move to New York, where Komuro works at a law firm.

Japan Princess Mako finally marries college sweetheart Kei Komuro after years of controversy-dnm
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Tokyo, First Published Oct 26, 2021, 11:03 AM IST
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Japan's Princess Mako, the emperor's niece has finally married her college sweetheart Kei Komuro in a subdued ceremony, formally giving up her royal status.

Wearing a light green dress and holding a bouquet of flowers, Princess Mako bowed several times to her parents — Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko — and her younger sister Princess Kako as she left the residence in Tokyo at around 10 am local time, news outlet Kyodo reported.

The Princess, who left her family’s imperial residence Tuesday morning, is set to stay in a Tokyo condominium while preparing to move to New York, where Komuro works at a law firm.

Under Japanese law, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a "commoner" although male members do not.

Japanese Princess Mako lost her royal status on October 26 in a union that has split public opinion and was delayed more than three years by a financial dispute involving her new mother-in-law.

Mako and fiance Kei Komuro, both 30, announced their engagement four years ago, a move initially cheered by the country. But things soon turned sour as tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro's mother, prompting the press to turn on him. The marriage was postponed, and he left Japan for law studies in New York in 2018 only to return in September, Reuters reported.

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Mako also refused to receive a one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who marry commoners and become ordinary citizens, in line with Japanese law.

The couple are expected to hold a news conference later on Tuesday where they will make a brief opening statement and give written answers to five selected questions that were submitted in advance.

This is because the Princess "feels a strong sense of anxiety" about having to answer questions verbally, said Japan's Imperial Household Agency (IHA).

Mako, who will no longer be known as Princess, isn't the first woman to leave the Japanese royal family. The last royal to do so was her aunt, Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito, when she married town planner Yoshiki Kuroda in 2005.

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