Princess Mako of Japan will be giving up her title when she marries a commoner. That much, the media has correct. But what the Western media hasn’t covered, and probably isn’t even aware of, is that there is virtually no way for a Japanese princess to marry and retain her title.
Prior to the end of WWII and the Imperial Household Law of 1947, the Japanese Imperial Family was much larger. They, like the British royals, had a large extended family who could inherit the throne and also a large aristocracy. Back then, if a princess were to marry a nobleman, she would remain a princess. However, after the war, the nobility was abolished and the Imperial Household streamlined. Now, there are no nobles to marry, and no way for a princess to retain her title.
In Princess Mako’s case, however, her fiance is not part of the former nobility, and she would have lost her title either way.