Japan’s princess Mako will lose her royal status after marriage, and her engagement has people calling for a change in law. In 2017, the princess announced she would resign her royal status, in order to marry her college sweetheart, Kei Komuro, who is not a royal, in accordance with Japanese imperial law.
Japan is one of the only monarchies what doesn’t allow women on the throne, and the princess’ decision sparked a gender debate in the country. A survey showed 68% of respondents want to change Japan’s imperial household laws of 1947, which say women in the royal family cannot take the throne and neither can their children. Women are also forced out of royalty if they don’t marry a man of imperial rank.
Japanese law was changed in 2017 to allow the emperor, princess Mako’s grandfather, to retire from the throne in 2019 upon his request. Some think Japan should further change its laws to allow women in the running. Princess Mako announced she’s postponing her wedding to better plan for her future. She will resign her royal status in 2019, but perhaps her brave act of royal defiance will incite some change to the antiquated rules.