Princess Mako of Japan will lose royal status by marrying a commoner. It is the second time that something like this happens to the family of the emperor Akihito and raises questions about the real succession.

The princess is the second in the family to abdicate from the royal status after her aunt married a commoner in 2005
ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

At age 25, the emperor’s older granddaughter will be forced to leave the royal family when she marries Kei Komuro, the same age. Kei and Mako met while studying in Tokyo. Imperial Japanese law compels princesses of the royal family to abdicate from the statute when marrying out of royalty.

It is not the first time that something like this happens inside the Japanese royal family. In 2005, the princess’s aunt, former Princess Sayako, married an employee of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce. At the time, he had to learn to do banal tasks such as driving and shopping at the supermarket. Sayako is the emperor’s only daughter and, as such, had no right to the throne.

The case will rekindle the debate over imperial laws and royal succession with Emperor Akihito, now 83, announcing that he would like to give up the throne. For two centuries no emperor abdicates the throne. In fact, the law in force does not allow it. However, the government is considering amending legislation to allow the emperor to resign – but it should leave unchanged the law that only allows the emperor to be occupied by a man, an issue that has been on the table for years.

Thanks to this law, there are only four possible heirs to the Chrysanthemum Throne. They are the children of the emperor, Naruhito and Fimihito, the grandson Hisahito, and the brother Masahito.

Asked about news of the princess’s marriage and the royal succession, Secretary of State Yoshihide Suga told Reuters that “there is no change in our goal to proceed with consideration for steps to be taken to ensure succession Imperial stable. “

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