Isn't it nice! After all the bad news in East Asia with the Bali bombings, anti-Japan protest, and GW Bush opening his mouth, we can now announce Princess Nori's marriage to a Mr. Kuroda--a commoner. Unlike Danish, English, and Spanish royal families, Nori has to leave the royal family, according to the BBC.
Japan has reformed in many ways, and much credence goes to Mr. Koizumi. Socially, however, Japan remains a very traditional society with many customs dating back hundreds of years. You can argue that the monarchic family of a given country (if applicable) demonstrates the cultural and social traditions of that location. In Spain, for example, society has modernized tremendously and new (and sometimes radical thought) is thus seen in the wedding between their Prince Felipe and commoner Letizia Rocasolano. She is previously divorced and an out-going career woman. You would not see that in Japan. If Japan's society has to modernize and carry with it an acceptance of progressive thought, it may have to look at the royal family and have Emperor Akihito promote a more avant-garde society.