Princess Mako Of Japan Is Giving Up Million Dollar Payout To Marry College Sweetheart

by : Hannah Smith on : 02 Sep 2021 17:13
Princess Mako Of Japan Is Giving Up Million Dollar Payout To Marry College SweetheartPA Images

She’s already giving up her royal title to marry her college sweetheart, but Japan’s Princess Mako is now also set to turn down a million-dollar payout from the government as she embarks on married life.

Princess Mako of Akishino – the niece of Emperor Naruhito – was set to be offered $1.3 million from Japan’s taxpayer funds in order to help her and her fiancé Kei Komuro as they prepare to move to the United States. But in the latest of a series of bold moves made by the couple, she’s decided to forego the handout ahead of their wedding later this year.

Princess Mako (PA Images)PA Images

The Times also reports that the couple will not perform the traditional Shinto betrothal ceremonies, making Mako the first imperial princess not to do so.

The couple, who are both 29, are understood to have first met while studying at university in Tokyo in 2012, and announced their engagement in 2017 despite opposition from several members of the princess’ family.

Following the news of their engagement, former Empress Michiko described her eldest granddaughter as ‘naive’ and called for the couple to end their relationship. Mako’s father Prince Fumihito, who is the heir to the throne, said last year that ‘they are not in a situation where many people are convinced and pleased,’ but said they should be allowed to get married ‘if that is what they really want.’


Despite being prohibited from taking the Chrysanthemum Throne by their gender, according to Japanese laws dating back to 1947, female members of the Imperial family may not marry ‘commoners’ without giving up their own titles, with ‘commoners’ who marry into the family and their children also not able to be given titles.

Princess Mako (centre) with her mother and sister (PA Images)PA Images

Princess Mako is not the first imperial princess to give up her title for love, with the Japanese government having historically offered payments to princesses who leave the imperial family in order ‘to preserve the dignity of a person who was once a member of the imperial family’

According to the Japan Times, Mako justified her decision last year by saying she and Komuro were ‘irreplaceable for one another,’ and that ‘for us, a marriage is a necessary choice to live and honor our hearts.’


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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Japan


The Times
  1. The Times

    Japan’s Princess Mako refuses £1m state wedding payment and plans US move