But if they marry a “commoner” they will still have to give up their imperial status under the country’s succession law.
Under Japan’s constitution, female royals have had to give up their imperial status – if they fail to marry from within the small pool of Japan’s remaining aristocrats.
After World War 2, part of Japan’s post-war constitution was designed to dismantle the aristocracy and to get rid of minor branches of the royal family.
Today this has left the country with just a core imperial household.
This has meant Japanese princesses have little option but to marry “commoners”.
The imperial household includes the emperor’s small family and four other branches.
There are just 18 members of the imperial family left.
Of this number 13 are women and five of them are unmarried.
Concerns have been raised that the royal family could vanish entirely due to a lack of heirs.
The government has drawn up plans to stop this from happening.
Opinion polls suggest the Japanese public overwhelmingly support women or those descending from a female member of the imperial family to ascend to the throne.
Japanese Royal Family: The plan would boost the number of royals by retaining married female members
Proposals have been made to change aspects of Japan’s constitution, to enable female members of the imperial family to keep their royal status – even if they marry a commoner.
The plan would boost the number of royals by retaining married female members.
Male heirs might also be adopted from former branches of the imperial family who abandoned their imperial status after the war.
The news comes after Princess Mako, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, announced her plans to marry her fiancé, Kei Komuro, by the end of the year.
Under current rules, this would strip her of her imperial status – shrinking the imperial household further.
Princess Mako’s marriage comes after a long delay – she has been engaged to her college sweetheart since 2017.
Rumours are circulating that Princess Mako may break with tradition and marry without the usual imperial ceremony and ritual held at royal weddings.
Many expect the princess and her fiancé will start a new life in the US after their marriage.
Kei Komuro is reportedly intending to pursue a legal career there.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK