Crown Princess Kiko, who turned 53 on Sept. 11, during her visit to Bhutan in August with Crown Prince Fumihito and Prince Hisahito (Provided by the Imperial Household Agency)

Crown Princess Kiko issued a rare statement to mark her birthday on Sept. 11 but refused to be drawn into gossip surrounding her daughter's delayed marriage, instead offering words of hope for her children's futures.

"My oldest daughter has much to think about right now, including her pending marriage plans. I can't comment on the current situation," she said, referring to the postponement last year of Princess Mako's wedding plans after financial issues involving the family of her intended came to light.

The statement was in response to questions submitted by the Imperial Household Agency Press Club, whose request for an individual statement on her 53rd birthday was approved by the Imperial Household Agency in light of the greater responsibility that comes with Kiko's new role as crown princess. Her husband is Crown Prince Fumihito.

Mako, 27, announced her engagement plans with Kei Komuro in September 2017. The couple initially planned to hold their wedding ceremony in November 2018. However, financial issues facing Komuro's family surfaced, and the Imperial Household Agency announced a postponement of Mako's formal engagement and marriage in February 2018.

With regard to the future and marriage plans of her second daughter, Princess Kako, 24, Kiko said, "I expect that she will give it careful consideration and live her life."

Offering kind words about them both, Kiko added, "I hope they have a good life and establish a future course so that people who have supported them as they grew up will rejoice."

Kiko also shared her thoughts on the future of her son Prince Hisahito, second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, who celebrated his 13th birthday earlier this month, saying, "I believe that he will give more thought (to his future) as he grows through various experiences and expands his interests."

Following Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s abdication and Naruhito’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne in May, Fumihito and Kiko became crown prince and crown princess.

Speaking about the responsibility that comes with her new role, she said, "I'll do my best while paying attention to my health."

In the past, Kiko has only spoken about her thoughts and family when attending Fumihito's birthday news conference, not on her own birthday.

(This article was written by Ayako Nakada and Aya Nagatani.)