The Japanese government is set to accept Princess Mako of Akishino’s desire to decline the lump sum of money she is entitled to upon her marriage to a commoner and renouncing her titles and place in the Imperial Family.
Princess Mako, who will turn 30 next month, is set to marry her fiancé, Kei Komuro, and then relocate to the United States. She has made clear her desire to decline the lump sum payment that female members of the Imperial Family receive as they give up their royal lives.
The money comes from taxes, and this could be in response to the financial controversy that has surrounded her long-term boyfriend for the past couple of years. She was set to receive 152.5 million yen (equivalent to a little over one million GBP) – an amount determined by the Imperial Household Economy Council, which includes Prime Minister Suga.
Declining the lump sum is a break from tradition that has existed since the end of the Second World War for the royals.
Princess Mako and Komuro will reportedly register their marriage in October, and sources have said Komuro will return from the United States next week for the first time since 2018. He has been studying law at Fordham University.
Komuro has graduated from law school, and the couple plan to reside in New York, where Komuro is expected to be employed at a law firm.
Under Japanese law, princesses who marry commoners must give up their titles and place in the Imperial House upon marriage. This has recently been debated in the government as a way to fix the country’s problem of decreasing working royals. At the moment, there are only three people in the line of succession as women are barred from the throne and cannot head their own branches of the family.
Princess Mako and Kei Komuro announced their engagement in September 2017. Their wedding was due to take place in 2018, but it was postponed after information came to light about the fiances of Komuro and his mother after allegations were made by his mother’s former fiancé.
Princess Mako is the eldest child of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko; she is the niece of Emperor Naruhito.