Japanese government to pay $1.3 million to princess

The Japanese government will pay 152.5 million yen (US$1.34 million; Ђ1.12 million) as a one-off allowance to Emperor Akihito's youngest child Sayako, who must leave the imperial household after her marriage, and her soon-to-be husband, a government spokesman said Thursday. The tax-free dowry was decided unanimously at a closed-door meeting headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, based on a law that governs the finances of the royal family, according to Kenji Maeda of the Imperial Household Agency.

Sayako, who is 36, plans to wed Yoshiki Kuroda, a Tokyo city employee, on Nov. 15. The only daughter of Akihito and Empress Michiko, who also have two sons, Sayako will lose her title as princess and be expected to move out of the palace once she weds because only males can assume the throne under Japanese law. She will then receive no further state funding and will be free to follow an occupation of her own will, Maeda said. But the law may be modified to accommodate the possibility of a female emperor ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne. An advisory panel on Japan's monarchy has said allowing a female to succeed the emperor should be considered to avoid an eventual succession crisis. The imperial family has not produced a male heir in 40 years, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako have had one child, a three-year-old daughter named Aiko, reports the AP. I.L.

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