Summer Eyed for Announcing Princess Mako's Informal Engagement (News)
Tokyo, May 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Imperial Household Agency is considering moving up the announcement of the informal engagement of Princess Mako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, to a former university classmate by several months from the initially envisioned autumn this year, Yamamoto Shin'ichirō, head of the agency, said Thursday.
The announcement is expected to be made in summer, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The 25-year-old princess, the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, is set to make an official visit to Bhutan from Wednesday to June 8. The announcement of the couple's informal engagement will not sometime after the trip, the sources said.
If the agency follows precedents, Princess Mako and her fiance-to-be, Komuro Kei, also 25, will hold a press conference on the day of the announcement. Later, a betrothal ceremony known as "Nosai no Gi" and other related rituals will be held. A wedding ceremony is likely to take place next year.
As the reason for the front-loading of the announcement of the informal engagement, Yamamoto told a press conference, "It has become publicly known that preparations for the engagement are under way following a flurry of media reports."[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]