by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
They say “love conquers all” and that is exactly the case for Japan’s Princess Mako.
Princess Mako, who is the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, recently confirmed in a press conference that she is engaged to a commoner, Kei Komuro.
With the permission of the Emperor, both Princess Mako and her fiancée were delighted to make the big announcement.
But the princess will have to relinquish her status as a member of the imperial family before she marries Mr Komuro.
According to Japan Imperial House Law, a female Imperial member is required to renounce her royal status upon marrying a commoner. They also cannot become reigning empresses.
“I’ll be happy if I can make a warm and comfortable home full of smiles with Mr Komuro.”
But Princess Mako seems ready for what is to come. She told reporters she has been aware of losing her royal status once she marries.
“While I’ve worked to help the emperor and fulfill duties as a royal family member as much as I can, I’ve been cherishing my own life.”
Mr Komuro is employed with a law firm while also studying business law. The couple first met in 2012 when they were studying at the same university in Tokyo. In December 2013 he proposed to the princess and in May this year reports surfaced that the two were engaged.
“I sincerely feel a heavy responsibility to wed a royal princess, but Princess Mako always has shown me her consideration so that I have been able to feel it is all very natural up until today.
“And I wish to build a relaxed and peaceful household,” Mr Komuro said.
In 2005, Emperor Akihito’s only daughter, former Princess Sayako married a commoner – she was the first Japanese royal to become a commoner through marriage.
The wedding is said to take place in 2018 after several traditional rites are completed to officially mark the engagement in Imperial terms.