Japanese princess becomes commoner to wed college sweetheart
Passers-by watch a news report that Princess Mako, granddaughter of Japan's emperor, is getting married to Kei Komuro, in Tokyo. Pic/AP
Japanese Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will wed a former college classmate, Japanese media reported, heating up debate on the ever-shrinking royal family since she must become a commoner after marriage.
Japan's cabinet is expected to approve a bill on Friday to allow Akihito (83) to step down, the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in nearly two centuries, after he said last August he feared age would make it hard to fulfil his duties. But the legislation will make no reference to the controversial topics of whether to revise a males-only succession law or to allow women to stay in the imperial family after marriage, a move conservatives fear would be a first step to letting females inherit the throne.
Asked about the problem of the shortage in royals, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference: "There is no change in our view to proceed with consideration of steps to ensure stable imperial succession."
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