Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Japanese princess to lose 'royal' status when she marries lover she met at University

Princess Mako is set to become a commoner when she weds Kei Komuro. Princess Mako and Komuro met at a restaurant in Tokyo's Shibuya about five years ago at a party and have been seeing more of each other in recent months. Komuro promotes tourism to the beaches of Shonan in Kanagawa prefecture, a report on public broadcaster NHK said. According to tradition, women can't succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne in Japan.This has triggered a debate about whether to allow women to inherit the throne. A Japanese princess is set to lose her royal status by marrying a 'beach tourism' worker she met at university.
Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will become a commoner as tradition dictates when she ties the knot with fiancé Kei Komuro.
The couple, both 25, met while studying at the International Christian University in
Tokyo and the royal family are said to have approved the marriage.
Mr Komuro is said to be an accomplished cook, skiier and violinist and once worked as a 'Prince of the Sea' to promote beaches of Shonan in Kanagawa prefecture, according to public broadcaster NHK. He appeared before cameras on Wednesday outside a law office in Tokyo where he now works as a legal assistant.
He told reporters: "Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time."
The move has fuelled debate on the shrinking royal family and whether to revise a males-only succession law or allow women to stay in the imperial family after marriage. 
 Mako (left) and Princess Kako are granddaughters of Emperor Akihito but are not in line to inherit the throne
Conservatives fear the move would be the first step in letting women inherit the throne.
Asked about a shortage in royals, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "There is no change in our view to proceed with consideration of steps to ensure stable imperial succession."
On Friday, Japan's cabinet is poised to approve a bill which allow Akhito, 83, to abdicate - the first by a Japanese emperor in almost two centuries.
He said last August he feared age would make it hard to fulfil his duties.
Mako studied at the University of Edinburgh on an exchange and later returned to Britain in January last year to gain a masters in art museum and gallery studies from the University of Leicester.

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