Princess Mako marks 30th birthday

NHK -- Oct 24
Japan's Princess Mako turns 30 on Saturday, three days before she marries a commoner and leaves the Imperial family.

The princess is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince and Princess Akishino. This is the second consecutive year that no events have been planned for her birthday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past year, Princess Mako has engaged in a range of activities as a member of the Imperial family.

She has attended online lectures about the mental wellbeing of children who experienced the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, and others struggling amid the pandemic.

The princess will become a commoner after she marries her college classmate Komuro Kei.

Palace officials say she wants to express her heartfelt gratitude to all those who have met and supported her during her years of public service.

Princess Mako has visited seven countries to promote friendly ties.

She and Komuro are due to have their marriage registered on Tuesday. The pair will then speak to the media.

Komuro recently returned to Japan from the United States, where he was studying law.

The couple plan to settle in New York, where Komuro is set to work at a law firm.