FOCUS: Princess Mako's marriage casts shadow on imperial succession debate

Society

The departure of Princess Mako from the Japanese royal family following her marriage to commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro casts a dark shadow over discussions on imperial succession and the dwindling number of eligible heirs. As the 30-year-old princess and niece of Emperor Naruhito leaves the imperial family, there are only 17 members left in total -- including former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko, both 87, who no longer perform official duties -- of which 12 are women including five unmarried members. The imperial family has been shrinking under the 1947 Imperial House Law, which li...

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