Princess has a yen to marry
TOKYO: The niece of Emperor Naruhito is to turn down a $1.9m handout from the Japanese government when she marries her boyfriend and moves with him to the US, in an unprecedented break with imperial tradition.
Princess Mako of Akishino (pictured) will be the first princess in modern times to forgo formal Shinto betrothal ceremonies, according to Japanese media. The low-key wedding to Kei Komuro is planned for the end of the year.
Mako, 29, daughter of the emperor’s younger brother, Prince Fumihito, met Komuro, also 29, when they were students at the International Christian University in Tokyo. He is now studying law in the US.
Mako’s father has rather unenthusiastically given his approval, adding “if that is what they really want”.
The decision to turn down the wedding payment, which is traditionally paid to princesses because they lose their imperial status when they marry, is seen as an acknowledgment of a financial scandal involving Komuro. Komuro is awaiting the results of his law exams, after which he intends to take up a job offer in New York, so the couple are not expected to struggle financially.