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Japan's Princess Mako to give up $1 million payment ahead of controversial wedding

·2 min read

Japan's Princess Mako is set to turn down a one-off payment of over $1 million in return for giving up her royal status to wed her former college classmate, Kei Komuro, as per media reports.

The decision is set to clear the path for the marriage, which was long delayed over the controversy over the Mako's fiancé.

The 29-year-old granddaughter of former Japanese emperor Akihito and niece of current emperor Naruhito had announced her engagement to Komuru in 2017. The couple later declared that they were delaying their wedding, saying that they needed more time to plan their future.

According to CNN, the wedding was delayed due to "lack of preparation." There were also reports of a financial dispute between Komuro's mother and his former fiancé, with allegations emerging that his mother had borrowed money from the latter and failed to repay the loan.

Komuro later moved to the United States for law school. The move was widely seen as an attempt to deflect the negative attention surrounding the couple.

As per Japan's tradition, the throne is only passed down to male heirs. Unmarried princesses of the family would lose their royal status if they married commoners. The children of these princesses with commoners would not be considered eligible for the throne as well.

While the princesses are entitled to a one-off payment, the government is said to have agreed that the princess forego the amount, worth up to 150 million yen ($1.35 million), amid the public criticism over Komuro.

As per Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the wedding is set to take place in October this year. The couple have also decided to forego some of the traditional ceremonies that are part of a royal wedding. The duo plan to move to the United States permanently.

Last year, Crown Prince Akishino stated that he supported his daughter's decision regarding her wedding, adding that the princess needed to gain the public's "understanding".

The male-only inheritance of the Japanese royal family means that Prince Hisahito, Mako's brother is the only eligible male heir to the throne apart from his father, after the current emperor Naruhito. The tradition of excluding females from Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne if they marry commoners can lead to the imperial family without enough members to carry out public duties.

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