They say love triumph over all obstacles and that seems to be true with Japan's Princess Mako, who is ready to give up her royal status in the name of love. CNN Japan has reported that the 25-year-old princess, granddaughter of Emperor Akihito is all set to get engaged to her long-time commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro, a law firm worker.
Apparently, the couple met five years ago at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Kei has also starred in a beach tourism campaign for the city of Fujisawa as "Prince of the Sea." According to Japan's centuries-old imperial law, a princess has to leave the imperial family if she opts to marry a commoner. Recently, Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akhito and aunt of Princess Mako, left the family to marry town planner Yoshiki Kuroda.
Mako and Kei are likely to be engaged soon. The news spread like wildfire on Wednesday and immediately the focus was shifted to Kei. Soon, journalist thronged into Kei's law office but he declined to reveal any details on the engagement. "I would like to talk about it when the time comes."
However, experts have already raised concerns on the shrinking imperial that currently has 19 members, 14 of whom are female. Moreover, the imperial law allows only the male heir to ascend to the throne and currently there are only three of them—Crown Prince Naruhito, his younger brother Crown Prince Akishino, and Akishino's son, Prince Hisahito. It means, in the future, it would be tough for the royal family to carry out their duties.
Indeed, 83-year-old Emperor Akihito has already raised concerns about his health condition which has started affecting his royal duties. He also revealed that he will be reducing the number of public appearances due to his declining health. "When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the State with my whole being as I have done until now," he was quoted saying.