Japan’s Prince Fumihito, younger brother of Emperor Naruhito and current heir to the throne, said he supported the controversial engagement of his first-born, Princess Mako, at a Monday press conference on his 55th birthday.

"I approve of them marrying. (...) If that is what they really want, then I think it is something that I must respect as a father," Fumihito said at the appearance published Monday by the Imperial Household Agency. Their engagement has been pending for years over a financial dispute of the mother of the groom. EFE-EPA