Emperor, empress parade in Tokyo to commemorate enthronement
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako took part in a parade in central Tokyo on Sunday as tens of thousands of flag-waving onlookers lined the streets in celebration of the emperor's enthronement earlier in the year, Kyodo reports.
The imperial couple set out in a luxury convertible sedan along a 4.6-kilometer route from the Imperial Palace at 3 p.m.
The couple's first parade since their marriage in 1993 was pushed back nearly three weeks in consideration of the hardships people have been suffering in the wake of deadly Typhoon Hagibis last month.
The convertible carrying the 59-year-old emperor and the 55-year-old empress was followed by vehicles with Crown Prince Fumihito -- the younger brother of the emperor -- and his wife Crown Princess Kiko as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The procession of some 50 vehicles in total forming a 400-meter motorcade was scheduled to pass the Metropolitan Police Department and the main gate of the Diet building before arriving at the couple's residence in the Akasaka Estate.
Tight security was in place, with police conducting ID checks at buildings along the route and baggage inspections at 29 locations from the morning. Up to 26,000 police officers were deployed.
Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, the day after his father, former Emperor Akihito, became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in about 200 years.