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

Japan princess announces engagement with commoner

Messages of congratulations poured in after the engagement of Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, to her boyfriend from university days was announced Sunday.

Komuro said they kept in touch even though they were physically far from each other.

In a press conference on Sunday, she said she was first attracted to Kei Komuro's "smile like the sun".

The decision means the princess will have to give up her royal title when they tie the knot.

"He is a honest, strong-minded, hard worker, and he has a big heart". This matrimony will make her lose a lot of privileges as a member of the Japanese Imperial Family. "I would like to have a family that is always calm and peaceful", he added. "While I 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". Komuro proposed in 2013 and is well liked by the royal family.

Mako graduated from ICU in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Art and Cultural Heritage.

Besides working at a law firm in Tokyo, Komuro is also studying business law at Hitotsubashi University's Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy. She now works as a researcher at a museum at the University of Tokyo.

Mr Komuro said he was so thankful and happy to have been accepted by her parents, and her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He is said to be very photogenic and once won a tourism promotion contest to win the honour of "Prince of the Sea".

But the announcement was postponed because heavy rain and flooding hit the northern part of the Kyushu region in early July, with Princess Mako and Komuro worrying about the situation in areas afflicted by the disaster and feeling sympathy for affected people.

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.

She has since introduced him to her parents, Prince Akishino - second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne - and Princess Kiko, as someone she wished to "share her future with".

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. Mako told that she was aware since childhood that she will leave royal status once she will get married.

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