Japan’s Princess Mako is reportedly set to marry her fiancé, Kei Komuro, by the end of the year, according to Japanese media.
Sources close to the couple have said the Princess and Komuro’s marriage will be registered by the end of 2021. They added that the traditional Imperial Family ceremonies and rituals surrounding the wedding would not be held; these include the Nosai-no-Gi engagement ceremony and the Choken-no-Gi ritual where the royal thanks the Emperor and Empress.
This is a break from tradition that has existed since the end of the Second World War for the royals.
The Princess, who will turn 30 in October, will register the marriage in Japan and remove herself from the Imperial Family register. She will then move to New York, where Komuro is expected to be employed at a law firm. Komuro has resided in New York since 2018 and attended law school in the United States.
Princess Mako has reportedly decided to decline the lump-sum payment she is entitled to as she leaves the Imperial Family; 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.
The Imperial Household Agency is expected to discuss lowering Mako’s payment and if she is able to decline the lump sum.
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.