The Chronicle

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.

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