• Kyodo

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Crown Princess Kiko, who celebrated her 54th birthday on Friday, said she wants to “respect as much as possible” the feelings of her eldest daughter, Princess Mako, whose marriage to her boyfriend has been postponed for nearly two years.

“In regards to my eldest daughter’s marriage, we should communicate extensively, and it is important that I accept my daughter’s feelings as a parent and think about the matter together,” the crown princess said in a statement.

Princess Mako and her boyfriend, Kei Komuro, announced their planned engagement in September 2017 and later said their wedding would take place on Nov. 4, 2018.

However, the event was postponed until 2020, following a string of reports that Komuro’s mother was involved in a financial dispute with her former fiance.

The couple, both 28, have yet to make any official announcements about their wedding plans.

In the statement released by the Imperial Household Agency, the crown princess said it is important to exchange thoughts and ideas with her daughter despite their differences but did not reveal specific discussions they had or the outlook for the couple’s marriage.

In November last year, Crown Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, urged Princess Mako to update the public by February 2020 on her marriage to Komuro, who enrolled in the law school at Fordham University in New York two years ago.

The crown princess also touched on the future and the possibility of marriage for her second daughter, Princess Kako, in the statement, saying, “I would like to emphasize the importance of communication and listen to her thoughts if we ever talk (about it).”

The crown prince became first in line to the throne when Emperor Naruhito ascended to it in May last year. The couple’s son, Prince Hisahito, 14, is second in line and the only heir of his generation.

According to the agency, the number of ceremonies and events that the crown princess was scheduled to attend decreased significantly due to the novel coronavirus. She took part in 39 events held online, which included lectures from experts about the impact of the global health crisis.

“I hope the day will soon come when the infectious disease is under control, so that people can gather, work, study and live at ease,” she said.

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