The plan to announce the engagement of Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, has been postponed in light of the deadly rains in Kyushu, sources close to the matter said.

The Imperial Household Agency said last month that Princess Mako, 25, and her fiance-to-be, 25-year-old paralegal Kei Komuro, would hold a news conference on Saturday after the formal announcement, but the date has been reset.

The couple are expected to marry sometime next year, agency sources said.

The princess' impending engagement to Komuro, whom she met at university, has again put the spotlight on the dwindling size of the Imperial family. The law does not allow reigning empresses and requires that princesses leave the family when they marry commoners.

Extremely heavy rain continued to pelt Kyushu on Friday, where seven people have died and hundreds remain trapped by floodwaters.