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Princess Mako, the first grandchild of Emperor Akihito, will mostly likely become officially engaged to her former university classmate this summer, the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday.

Agency chief Shinichiro Yamamoto said at a news conference that the engagement of the 25-year-old princess to Kei Komuro, who attended International Christian University in Tokyo the same year she did, is set to be formally announced around that time.

The agency confirmed their impending engagement after news of it broke on May 16.

Yamamoto said initially that the two were to officially become engaged in fall, but the agency is now considering moving up the schedule by a few months in light of the media reports.

Hastening the announcement would be in the best interest of both the princess and her fiance-to-be, Yamamoto said.

The princess and her parents, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, have been consulted about the timing.

Komuro, also 25, is a paralegal at a law firm in Tokyo and is attending graduate school at Hitotsubashi University.

The two met about five years ago through a mutual friend and Komuro proposed about a year later, according to a source close to the matter.

The engagement of the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko will be the first among the four grandchildren of the Emperor and Empress Michiko.

The marriage, which will oust the princess from the Imperial family, has dragged the subject of the shrinking Imperial family back into the spotlight. Princesses cannot become reigning empresses under Japanese law and lose their Imperial status when they marry commoners.

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