Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Japanese Imperial Household Agency has confirmed but not officially announced that Princess Mako will marry Kei Komuro next year.
Prince Fumihito's eldest daughter, Mako, 25, will be the first of Emperor Akihito’s four grandchildren to marry.
Her fiancé, Kei Komuro, also 25, is a former classmate at the International Christian University in Tokyo who loves the ocean and skiing, who plays the violin and knows how to cook, this according to public broadcaster NHK TV.
Komuro, who lost his father as a child, lives with his mother and grandfather in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo. He works at a law firm in Tokyo and is studying legal affairs involving businesses at a graduate school of the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.
Outside the office yesterday, Komuro did not confirm the news to reporters. He said he had talked with Mako that morning on the phone. “In the conversation, I said, ‘Ittekimasu' (I am going to work) and she replied, ‘Itterasshai' (Take care),” he said with a smile.
When asked to share how he felt and what attracted him to Mako, smiling again, he said, “I will speak about them at an appropriate time.”
The two met at a restaurant in Tokyo's Shibuya about five years ago at a party. Fumihito and his wife, Princess Kiko, have approved their dating, sources said.
Only after completing all the rites will the couple be able to marry, pushing the date back to sometime next year. There are also some issues associated with the fact that the bride is a member of the imperial family whilst the groom is not.
The first ceremonial rite is the "Nosai no Gi", which is equivalent to a traditional Japanese engagement ceremony, to solidify the vow. Next, during "Kokki no Gi," a messenger for Komuro will visit Prince Akishino's residence in Tokyo's Akasaka district and announce the date of the wedding.
After the date of the wedding is decided, an Imperial Household Economy Council will meet to decide the endowment paid by the government to Princess Mako, as she will no longer be considered part of the Imperial Family after her marriage to commoner Komuro. Under Japanese law, the amount will be decided at an eight-member council meeting, which includes the prime minister.
When Sayako Kuroda, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, married a commoner in 2005, she received about 150 million yen (.3 million).
Before the wedding, Princess Mako must visit the three shrines in the imperial palace. As their wedding date nears, more rites are set to take place including "Choken no Gi" in which Princess Mako will express her appreciation for the emperor and the empress.
On the day of their wedding, a messenger from the groom's side will come to collect the princess at the palace in a rite called "Judai no Gi" before starting the wedding.