Princess Mako Getting Engaged

Japan's Princess Mako is getting engaged to her college mate Kei Komuro. The announcement by the Imperial Household Agency marks the first formal step in their marriage process that is expected to take months.

Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto said "Today, we are announcing that Princess Mako is getting engaged with Mr. Kei Komuro. It is with great pleasure that they are getting engaged."

This formal announcement was supposed to happen in early July but was delayed due to a disaster caused by heavy rains in western Japan.

Princess Mako's planned engagement has reignited debate about the shrinking size of the imperial family. This is because princesses lose their imperial titles when they marry commoners. Lawmakers have since adopted a resolution to consider changing that law.

Princess Mako's profile

Princess Mako was born in 1991 to Prince and Princess Akishino.

She is the first grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

The Chinese character "Ma" used for her name means "naturally" or "in one's true light." She was given that name in the hope that she would "live her life without losing her innate character".

Three years later in 1994, her younger sister, Princess Kako, was born.

Princess Mako entered Gakushuin Primary School in 1998.

In her graduation essay, she wrote that she has a broad interest in the arts as well as the creation, conservation and restoration of Japanese paintings. She wrote that someday, she would like to paint a vivid picture of birds that are about to take flight.

In 2006, when she was in her third year of junior high school, her brother Hisahito was born.

Princess Mako took good care of her brother.

The princess studied at Gakushuin's junior and senior high schools. She then enrolled in International Christian University in Tokyo.

While Princess Mako was at ICU, she studied art history in England. After graduating, she went on to the University of Leicester in England. She was offered Masters of Arts degree in 2016.

After returning to Japan, she assumed roles such as patron of the Japan Kogei Association and honorary patron of the Japan Tennis Association. She has made 3 official trips abroad and carried out other duties as a member of the Imperial family.

Last year, Princess Mako enrolled in a doctoral course at ICU. Besides her studies, she also currently works as a researcher at the museum of the University of Tokyo.

"Kei Komuro's profile"

Kei Komuro was born in 1991.

He is from Yokohama, where he currently lives with his mother and grandfather.

He received a junior and senior high school education at an international school in Tokyo.

In 2010, Komuro enrolled in International Christian University and became a classmate of Princess Mako.

He had a part-time job at a French restaurant in his college days. He also taught at a study room for children.

Komuro says he enjoys playing music and painting pictures and likes sports. He is good at playing the violin and skiing -- a sport Princess Mako also excels in.

After graduating from ICU in 2014, he got a job at a major bank. Since last year, he has been studying business law at Hitotsubashi University's graduate school while working at a law firm in Tokyo.