09/20/2018, 13.40
JAPAN
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Princess to marry a commoner in Tokyo

The traditional Kokki no Gi ceremony, the second of a long series, was held yesterday with the betrothed agreeing on the wedding date of 29 October. The groom is an advocate for children in developing countries. When she enters her new home, the princess will do so as a commoner.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japan’s Princess Ayako is set to marry Kei Moriya, a commoner, on 29 October. The couple chose the date yesterday in a traditional pre-wedding ceremony.

The Kokki no Gi rite was held at the Takamado residence in Tokyo. A relative of Moriya acted as his messenger announced the date to Princess Ayako in the presence of her mother, Princess Hisako. “I gratefully accept,” the 28-year-old princess said.

The rite, called Nosai no Gi, sees a messenger from the groom visit Tokyo’s Takamado residence with gifts, including sake and sea bream, to formally convey the proposal.

The marriage between Princess Ayako, 28, and her fiancé Moriya, 32, will be held at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, in the presence of members of the imperial family.

Ayako is the youngest daughter of Prince Takamado, the late cousin of Emperor Akihito. The betrothed met through Princess Hisako, who hoped to spark her daughter’s interest in international welfare activities.

The young Moriya, who lost his mother years ago, is a board member of a non-profit organisation that supports children in developing countries.

Princess Ayako is currently working as a research fellow at the Faculty of Social Work Studies of Josai International University in Chiba Prefecture.

The day after the nuptials, a banquet will be held at Hotel New Otani in Tokyo. It will be attended by Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako as well as government officials.

The princess and her fiancé are busy preparing for a series of ceremonies and their life at a new residence after their marriage. They currently do not plan to go on a honeymoon trip.

After the marriage, Princess Ayako will leave the imperial family as the Imperial House Law stipulates women lose their royal status after marrying a commoner.

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