Princess Mako of Japan will leave royal family to marry university boyfriend

Princess Mako the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko will forsake her royalty to marry fiancé Kei Komuro a commoner she met at International Christian University in Tokyo

"I was first attracted to his bright smiles that seemed like the sun", she blushed. The two became close in 2012 when they had their orientation session for an exchange program overseas. The royal family last wedding ceremony saw Princess Noriko of the Imperial family marry Kunimaro Senge, the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo Taisha, a Shinto shrine.

The news conference followed the Imperial Household Agency's official announcement of their engagement the same day.

On Sunday morning, Princess Mako introduced Komuro to the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial couple's residence at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward.

With her marriage to commoner Kei Komuro, Princess Mako eldest grandchild to Emperor Akihito, and eldest child to Prince Akishino; will renounce her status as a member of the Imperial Family. Then Komuro proposed to her after dinner in December 2013.

A JAPANESE princess has announced she will ditch her royal status to marry a "commoner" she met at university.

Princess Mako's sacrifice for love has reignited a national debate in Japan about whether women should be allowed to retain Imperial status after marriage and rise to the throne. "I was aware since my childhood that I'll leave a royal status once I marry", she said, adding that she felt "really happy" with her engagement.

Koji Watanabe, 75, vice chairman of the Japan Tennis Association, for which the princess serves as honorary patron, said he vividly remembers her honest attitude toward official duties, such as watching tennis games for long hours, and always listening to briefings by officials of the association in a respectful manner. But official sources have confirmed that it delayed after a rain disaster hit western Japan.

Mako is a part-time researcher at the University of Tokyo's University Museum.

He now works at a law firm and is still studying business law at the Hitotsubashi University's gradual school.

Komuro and Mako will have to go through several more rites until the wedding, which will be 2018, the same year as her grandfather will relinquish the throne.

While the couple have officially announced their relationship, their engagement will become official only after a traditional rite of betrothal called Nosai no Gi takes place, Japan Times reports.

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