Japan's Princess Mako to give up $1 million payment in controversial marriage
In 2017, the 29-year-old granddaughter of then-Emperor Akihito and her former college classmate, Kei Komuro, announced their engagement.
Princess Mako of Japan is ready to forego a one-time $1 million payment in exchange for giving up her royal title to marry a college classmate, according to reports on Saturday, paving the way for a marriage that has been delayed for years due to controversy about her betrothed. In 2017, the 29-year-old granddaughter of then-Emperor Akihito and her former college classmate, Kei Komuro, announced their engagement. However, the wedding was postponed due to allegations of a financial disagreement between Komuro's mother and her previous boyfriend.
Given widespread criticism of her fiance, the princess had earlier indicated her intention to forego the payment of up to 150 million yen ($1.35 million). The government chose to grant her requests, according to national broadcaster NHK and others. According to NHK, the wedding date might be revealed in October. According to reports, the pair want to settle in the United States. Female members of the imperial family lose their rank when they marry commoners under Japan's male-only royal succession rule.
The Imperial Household Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Japanese broadcaster recently tracked Komuro down in New York, expecting a forthcoming wedding. He was photographed with a ponytail, which sparked outrage among some Japanese Twitter users. According to reports, the pair want to settle in the United States. The throne may only be passed down to male heirs under Imperial law. Suppose the other unmarried princesses of the dynasty marry commoners. In that case, they will lose their royal title, potentially leaving the imperial family without enough members to carry out its official obligations.
Mako is the younger sister of Prince Hisahito, the only other eligible male heir to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne, as the throne may only fall to male members of the dynasty, and offspring of female royals who marry commoners are barred. Although no official confirmation of Princess Mako's plans has been made, rumours have dominated news headlines and sparked a social media frenzy.