Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi, son of a former premier and touted as a future leader, and TV personality Christel Takigawa announced Wednesday they will get married and that a baby is on the way.
The 38-year-old son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Takigawa, a former anchorwoman known as the multilingual presenter in Tokyo's Summer Olympic and Paralympic bid in 2013, told reporters the baby is due early next year.
"When I'm with Christel, I can escape the battlefield called politics," Koizumi told reporters at the prime minister's office after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The 41-year-old Takigawa, whose father is French, said in a post on her official Instagram account she met Koizumi several years ago and they became friends, and their relationship evolved into a close partnership last year.
"I hope we can create a relationship of a husband and a wife in which we can encourage each other like soul mates," Takigawa wrote in the post.
Koizumi, who is serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives, is seen as a potential future prime minister, as he is often named as a leading candidate in opinion polls.
In a Kyodo News survey in May, he ranked second after Abe on who should be prime minister, with 19.9 percent support compared with 20.1 percent for the current premier.
Koizumi studied at Columbia University and served as a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. His older brother Kotaro is an actor.
He and Takigawa visited Abe at his office to inform him of the news and said they made the announcement after her condition stabilized in the second trimester. The couple will register their marriage on Thursday.
Koizumi said Abe congratulated him on his pending marriage, adding the prime minister told him he had informed his father Junichiro about the marriage.
The former premier, who is divorced, welcomed the marriage, the younger Koizumi told reporters, saying he was advised that he "should marry at least once."