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Princess Mako’s engagement announcement postponed because of deadly rains in Kyushu

The official announcement of Princess Mako of Akishino’s engagement to Kei Komuro has been postponed in light of the deadly rains in Kyushu. Heavy rains continue to pelt the Kyushu island, and so far seven people have died, while hundreds remain trapped by floodwaters. Kyushu is the third biggest island of Japan.

The couple were to hold an official press conference this Saturday. They reportedly met at a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya five years ago at a party.

Kei Komuro currently lives in Yokohama and was a student at the International Christian University in Tokyo, which Princess Mako also attended. She graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Art and Cultural Heritage. She studied at the University of Leicester for a year and received a master’s degree in Museum Studies in January 2016. She also studied art history at the University of Edinburgh from September 2012 to May 2013.

Princess Mako has already introduced Kei Komuro to her father, who is the younger brother of Crown Prince Naruhito and a son of Emperor Akihito.

If Princess Mako marries Kei Komuro, she will be obliged to leave the Imperial Family as is stipulated by the Imperial House Law. The Imperial Household Law stipulates that females of the Imperial Family relinquish their title from birth, official membership in the Imperial Family, and allowance from the state upon marriage to a commoner. Her aunt Sayako, Princess Nori became Sayako Kuroda upon her marriage to Yoshiki Kuroda in 2005, and a cousin of hers, Princess Noriko of Takamado became Noriko Senge upon her marriage to Kunimaro Senge in 2014.

Princess Mako currently works as a researcher at a museum at the University of Tokyo three days a week.

She is not in the line of succession to the Imperial Throne as that is limited to males only. Her younger brother Prince Hisahito of Akishino is currently third in line, behind their father and their uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito.