Published: Sun, November 10, 2019

Japan emperor to greet public in parade marking enthronement

Japan emperor to greet public in parade marking enthronement

Authorities deployed around 26,000 officers and established extensive security measures, including around 40 checkpoints along the route, blockades on nearby roads and restrictions on using metro stations in the area.

Sunday's parade started from the Imperial Palace, with the Kimigayo national anthem played by a marching band.

Naruhito succeeded his father Akihito on May 1 following his abdication, and formally ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in a palace ceremony last month.

Ms Yoko Mori, 64, queued up from 10am to snag a spot to see the parade, travelling from Saitama outside Tokyo. "I concentrated so much on taking a photo, I barely looked with my own eyes", Ms Mori said.

Yoko Yokota, 84, was in tears with excitement at the chance to spot the emperor up close.

Hours before the parade, Yukari Oshita told AFP she felt a closeness to Naruhito, the first emperor born in post-war Japan.

"The Emperor is a few years younger than me but belongs to the same generation", she said. "And Empress Masako is someone who can be a role model for modern women with full-time jobs".

After the national anthem was played, the royal couple boarded a specially made auto featuring the chrysanthemum imperial logo on the sides and the royal flag on its bonnet.

The parade was originally due to take place on October 22, when the emperor officially proclaimed his enthronement before dignitaries from about 190 countries, but it was postponed as Japan grappled with the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.

Thousands of people had lined up at checkpoints hours before the parade, trying to secure their place to get the best possible view of the royal couple.

The couple's first parade since their marriage in 1993 was originally scheduled for October 22 as part of a series of events marking the official proclamation of Emperor Naruhito's enthronement.

Emperor Naruhito expressed gratitude to about 30,000 well-wishers who gathered at the entrance of Imperial Palace in Tokyo on November 9 in a festive event celebrating his accession to the throne. Many Japanese people were especially impressed by the couple freely conversing with US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during their visit weeks after Naruhito's succession in May, according to palace watchers.

Masako, a Harvard- and Oxford-educated former diplomat who has been expanding the scope of her activities after years of struggling with a stress-linked illness, appeared teary-eyed at one point during the event. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24×7 and NDTV India.

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