Princess to lose royal status

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Tokyo

Emperor Akihito’s granddaughter’s upcoming engagement to her college sweetheart, a commoner, will cost the princess her royal status in a move that highlights the male-dominated nature of Japan’s monarchy as it faces a potential succession crisis.
Public broadcaster NHK broke the story of Princess Mako’s engagement late Tuesday, sending the country into a tizzy with the news dominating television chat shows and newspaper coverage ahead of an expected official announcement in coming weeks. Her reported fiance, Kei Komuro, a telegenic 25-year-old commoner once named “Prince of the Sea” in a tourism promotion contest, briefly met journalists on Wednesday, but dodged questions on the engagement, saying he would only speak about it “when the time comes”.—APP