Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro

Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro

Japanese Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild, Princess Mako, said Sunday she is getting married to a university classmate who won her heart with bright smiles and sincerity.

The two released a document explaining their feelings in which they said there is not much time left to prepare for their planned wedding ceremony and life after marriage.

The Imperial Household Agency announced on 6 February that the wedding was being postponed due to "lack of preparation".

Princess Mako (R), pictured with Kei Komuro, will delay her marriage to Komuro until at least 2020. The couple, both 26, met at Tokyo's International Christian University in 2012 and excitement swept the country when they announced their engagement past year.

According to the Imperial Law of 1947, the throne can only be passed down to male heirs, of which only three remain with Mako's uncle, Crown Prince Nuruhito, who is expected to succeed Emperor Akihito. "Last May, there had been reports about our engagement at an unexpected time".

A tabloid claimed that Komuro's mother and her former partner were disputing over money that was allegedly loaned to her for her son's education. "Time can be used to further strengthen their bonds", he said. "We believe we have rushed various things".

"I am very sorry for causing a big trouble and extra burden to those who have sincerely helped our wedding", AFP news agency quoted the princess as saying. They'd, too, lose their royal status if they were to marry commoners, a possibility that could leave the imperial family without enough members to carry out its public duties.

The couple's romance has sparked controversy, as the princess will be required to renounce her royal status if they tie the knot.

The palace requested 150 million yen ($1.7 million) as part of its fiscal 2018 budget to cover the costs of the wedding and the process of starting Mako's life outside the royal family.

The magazines also reported that Komuro's father died when Komuro was an elementary school student, and that his mother relied on her then-boyfriend for financial support.

The announcement prompted speculation, denied by the household, that the decision was related to criticism in Japanese tabloids of her fiance Kei Komuro's family background.

"It is not because there were weekly magazine reports", an agency official told the Nikkei Asian Review.

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