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Princess Mako, Komuro announce engagement

Princess Mako, Komuro announce engagement

The princess said that she will marry Kei Komuro, who was a classmate of hers at Tokyo's International Christian University.

Publicly addressing her engagement for the first time, the 25-year-old said she was first drawn to Komuro's "bright smiles like the sun", and has come to learn he is "a honest, strong-minded, hard worker" with "a big heart". The royal family last wedding ceremony saw Princess Noriko of the Imperial family marry Kunimaro Senge, the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo Taisha, a Shinto shrine.

The news of their engagement was reported in May by the Japan Times and later confirmed by the Imperial Household Agency.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro addressed the press together for the first time on Sunday.

With her marriage to commoner Kei Komuro, Princess Mako eldest grandchild to Emperor Akihito, and eldest child to Prince Akishino; will renounce her status as a member of the Imperial Family.

But women are not allowed to succeed Japan's throne, meaning Princess Mako will lose her royal status once she weds 25-year-old Mr Komuro, who is a commoner. The princess attended the University of Edinburgh, while Komuro, 25, attended the University of California.

Then Mr Komuro, a legal assistant who loves playing jazz piano, proposed to her after dinner in December 2013.

Over time, Princess Mako said she learned he is "a honest, strong-minded, hard worker, and he has a big heart".

'Having a family still goes beyond my imagination, but I hope to make one that is warm, comfortable and filled with smiles, ' Princess Mako said.

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

Her fiance-to-be, a resident of Yokohama, works at a law firm in Tokyo.

The announcement was originally expected in July, but was not made due to a rain disaster in the country.

Their engagement will become official in Imperial terms after Komuro's messenger visited the princess' Imperial residence with gifts.

Princess Mako's 83-year-old grandfather, Emperor Akihito, is expected to abdicate next year - Japan's first abdication in two centuries.

"I was aware since my childhood that I'll leave a royal status once I marry", Princess Mako said.

She has since introduced him to her parents, Prince Akishino - second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne - and Princess Kiko, as someone she wished to "share her future with".

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