Japan’s Princess Mako to give up royal status for marriage

Japan's Princess Mako (L) and sister Princess Kako wave to well-wishers in Tokyo on January 2, 2015. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI

May 17 (UPI) — Japan’s Princess Mako is giving up her royal status for love.

The 25-year-old Japanese royal will leave the imperial family in order to wed former college classmate Kei Kumoro, also 25, according to CNN.

The Japan Times reported Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito, first met Kumoro in 2012 at International Christian University in Tokyo. Officials said the princess’ parents, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, have approved the union.

Japanese imperial law dictates a princess must give up her royal status upon marriage to a commoner. Kumoro, who once starred as the “Prince of the Sea” in a tourism campaign, works as a legal assistant.

Princess Mako and Kumoro’s official engagement is expected to be announced in mid-June at the earliest, with the wedding to take place in 2018. The princess will be the first of the emperor’s four grandchildren to get engaged.

News of the engagement follows Emperor Akihito’s indication in August that he plans to abdicate the throne. Japan’s cabinet is expected to approve a bill Friday allowing Akihito to step down — the first emperor to do so in nearly two centuries.

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