TOKYO – Japanese Princess Ayako of Takamado made on Monday her first public appearance with her fiance Kei Moriya and announced their plans to marry.
The couple talked to the media after the Imperial Household Agency announced the news of their engagement last week, which will be officially completed in a ceremony on Aug. 12.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ayako – daughter of Prince Norihito – said she was very happy with the engagement, and described her fiance as a kind, smart and decisive man, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Moriya, 32, who works for a shipping firm, said the princess was forward-looking, positive and kind.
The couple first met in December.
Ayako, who will have to renounce her title after marriage according to imperial law, graduated from the International University of Josai in Chiba, where she works as a researcher.
Moriya studied in Paris, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, before graduating from the Keio University of Tokyo.
Emperor Akihito’s granddaughter Mako has also announced her engagement, and the Japanese royal families will have 17 members left after the weddings, including just five men – the only members eligible to accede to the throne.
The two weddings and the exit of the princesses will further deplete the imperial household, which is facing a generation gap as most of its members are aging.