A Japanese princess who is the niece of Emperor Naruhito is giving up her royal title and turning down a $1.35 million payment to marry her commoner college sweetheart — who graduated in May from New York’s Fordham Law School.
Princess Mako, 29, and Kei Komuro, her former college classmate, announced their engagement in 2017 when her grandfather, Akihito, was emperor of Japan.
But the pair put off the nuptials amid reports of a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiancé.
The couple met in 2012 at a restaurant while studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo.
The Japanese government is set to agree that Mako forego the payment for royals who relinquish their status to marry commoners, Reuters reported, citing public broadcaster NHK, which said the wedding date may be announced in October.
On Monday, Komuro returned to Japan for the first time in about three years from the US, where he lives and works for a law firm, to prepare to finally tie the knot, according to Kyodo News.
The 29-year-old is expected to hold a news conference along with his wife-to-be after spending about two weeks under quarantine, according to the country’s COVID-19 protocol, the outlet said.
The couple plans to live in the US after getting hitched, Kyodo News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Komuro, who left Japan for the Big Apple in 2018, graduated from Fordham Law School in May, the outlet said.
The couple delayed their wedding for about three years amid a string of media reports about a dispute between Komuro’s mother and a former fiancé over $36,000 in financial support, including money spent on his education, according to Kyodo News.
In April, Komuro released a statement seeking to correct what he called the public’s misunderstandings about his mother’s financial status.
He reportedly offered to make a payment to his mom’s former fiancé in an effort to settle the financial dispute.
“If they love each other and want to get married, then I wish to congratulate them,” a 43-year-old woman from Chiba Prefecture who happened to be at Narita airport when Komuro arrived told Kyodo News.
But another woman, a 69-year-old from Sapporo, said the future groom “should ensure accountability before getting married,” referring to the financial troubles of his family.
Mako won’t be the first princess to step down.
In 2005, her aunt, Princess Sayako, abdicated after she became the first-ever Japanese royal to marry a commoner.