Princess Mako, Komuro announce engagement


On Sunday morning, Princess Mako introduced Komuro to the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial couple's residence at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward.

"First I was attracted by his bright smile", Mako said at a press conference Sunday, according to The Telegraph.

The pair met five years ago while studying at Tokyo's International Christian University.

They happened to sit nearby at a briefing session on the university's student exchange program, and subsequently began dating.

Komuro, in response, said Princess Mako "has been quietly watching over me like the moon".

Both Mako and her fiancé have mutual admiration for each other.

She also knows sign language and works with the deaf community alongside her mother.

Even if they had a long-distance relationship during the time they needed to study overseas for a year, the couple remained stronger.

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

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"I would like to have a family that is always calm and peaceful".

Kei Komuro actually proposed to the Princess in 2013 and now she has spoken about their love for the first time.

Komuro said he was so thankful and happy to have been accepted by her parents, and her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Her engagement is set to be announced in the coming weeks.

The happy news is not necessarily good news for the future of a royal family facing concerns about a declining population to keep their 2,000-year-old bloodline going.

Currently, Imperial House Law allows only a male to take the throne, and the family currently has only one young male, Mako's younger brother 10-year-old Prince Hisahito.

Princess Mako is Emperor Akihito's eldest granddaughter. Following the abdication, Mako's father, Prince Akishino, 51, will become first in line to the throne. After that, the only person left in the line of succession is Mako's little brother.

Komuro, dressed in a navy blue suit, expressed his "deep appreciation" to Akihito for granting him permission to be engaged with his oldest grandchild.

The news of the engagement has intensified a debate on whether the law should be changed so women born into the imperial family can continue in their royal roles.