Japan's Princess Mako announces engagement to commoner

Внучка императора Японии выходит замуж за простолюдина

Tokyo, Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)-Japanese Princess Mako and her fiancé-to-be, Komuro Kei, expressed joy at a press conference on Sunday after their informal engagement was announced by the Imperial Household Agency the same day.

Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Japanese Emperor Akihito, will Wednesday a former classmate, the Imperial Household said on Sunday, confirming a marriage that will further deplete the royal family since she must become a commoner. However, the formal announcement of Princess Mako's engagement is expected to reignite discussion of the matter-if only to prevent the end of the imperial line.

Talking to the press, the couple gushed about their relationship by comparing it to that of the sun and moon.

"Having a family still goes beyond my imagination, but I hope to make one that is warm, comfortable and filled with smiles".

Komuro told reporters that he proposed in December 2013, though reports that they were planning to announce their engagement first surfaced in May. They announcement was originally planned for July, but they made a decision to postpone it following the heavy rains and flooding in northern Kyushu that month.

Princess Mako is the first of Emperor Akihito's four grandchildren who will walk down the aisle, and when she marries there will only be 13 female members left in the royal family.

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Future couples have known each other and been in touch for last five years.

Their engagement will become official in Imperial terms after Komuro's messenger visited the princess' Imperial residence with gifts. One among the rituals will be the Kokki no Gi.

Komuro, the young perspective lawyer, added he sincerely recognizes that grave responsibility that he bears - the marriage with the princess is the great honour and privilege.

Their wedding is likely to take place in 2018, the same year the Emperor is expected to abdicate the throne. The Imperial family will witness the first wedding since 2014.

Despite the union being accepted by her parents, under the Imperial House Law, princesses are obliged to leave the royal family should they choose to marry a commoner.

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