Princess Ayako to marry commoner Kei Moriya


The 28-year-old cousin of Emperor Akihito Wednesday 32-year-old Japanese businessman Kei Moriya on October 29, effectively giving up her title and royal status per Japan's imperial law, which dictates that female royals - males are exempt - who choose to marry outside of their aristocratic network will no longer be considered a part of the royal family.

She will receive about 107 million yen ($950,000) from the state to maintain her dignity after her marriage based on the law on imperial household finance.

Afterwards, the couple spoke to the waiting press.

The MailOnline reports that Moriya said he hoped to help Ayako adjust to a commoner's life, explaining: "I want us to work together, hand in hand, to create a family filled with smiles".

Princess Hisako, the widow of Prince Takamado who died in 2002, was hoping to spark her daughter's interest in global welfare activities by meeting with Moriya, who is a board member of the nonprofit group Kokkyo Naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders).

With the departure of Princess Ayako, the number of Imperial Family members has dropped to 18, of which 13 are female.

Women who marry into the imperial family become members of the family, but those who marry commoners, like Princess Ayako, must leave. "I would like to support her firmly and, hand in hand, build a happy family with lots of laughter", he said. Crown Prince Naruhito, who takes over after Akihito abdicates next year, his brother Fumihito, his nephew Hisahito and Masahito, the octogenarian brother of the current emperor, are the only four male heirs to the throne left.

Yasuyuki Goto, 33, a friend of Moriya's, also wished the couple well. "I feel so happy".

Ayako, 28, is the daughter of the emperor's cousin, and Mr Moriya, 32, works for major shipping company Nippon Yusen.

"I am awed by how blessed I am", Ayako said.

The couple first met in December, when they were introduced by Princess Ayako's mother, Princess Hisako, who had long known Moriya's parents and met the groom last November at a photo exhibition by a nonprofit organization supporting children in developing countries.

Moriya went to kindergarten in Paris and attended schools in Switzerland and Britain before graduating from Tokyo's Keio University.