Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave to spectators during the royal motorcade in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: AP/Jae C Hong
national

120,000 watch emperor, empress parade in Tokyo

22 Comments

About 120,000 people came out Sunday to witness a parade celebrating Emperor Naruhito's enthronement in central Tokyo, as he and Empress Masako waved to well-wishers from a luxury convertible sedan along a 4.6-kilometer route from the Imperial Palace.

The 30-minute parade started at the Imperial Palace at 3 p.m. Spectators waved and cheered as the smiling imperial couple waved back at them from the back seat of a luxury convertible sedan.

Many people could also be seen reaching out with their cameras and mobile phones trying to capture an image of the emperor, dressed in a tailcoat, and the empress, who donned a long dress and tiara.

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Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave to well-wishers during their royal parade. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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, including one carrying Crown Prince Fumihito -- the younger brother of the emperor -- and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also in the procession.

During the 30-minute event, some 50 vehicles in total forming a 400-meter motorcade passed 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 officers were deployed.

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A motorcade carrying Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako proceeds through Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato

The black Toyota Motor Corp. Century being used in the parade was picked from a pool of cars from five automakers, taking safety and environmental performance into consideration, among other factors, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

The vehicle, which bears the imperial chrysanthemum crest, is estimated to have cost around 80 million yen, including remodeling expenses, according to the agency. It is scheduled to be displayed to the public at the state guest houses in Tokyo and Kyoto.

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Well-wishers watch the royal parade. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato

The emperor officially proclaimed his enthronement on Oct 22 before some 2,000 Japanese and foreign dignitaries in the "Sokuirei Seiden no gi" ceremony, equivalent to a coronation.

The parade was initially scheduled to take place on the same day as the ceremony but was postponed after the typhoon lashed wide areas, including Tokyo, and left 89 people dead and six people missing. It also flooded tens of thousands of homes.

On Oct 15, the couple released a statement offering condolences to the victims and wishing for a swift recovery. The government formally decided on the postponement of the parade, a state occasion, three days later.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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best wishes to them!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes indeed this is a pivotal moment for Japan historically. A true man of the people. An Emperor for people. No doubt about that.

I don't think that Abe San LDP government realises yet how much this new Emperor will encroach into politics.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Amazing scenes! Absolutely beautiful and once in a lifetime to see The Emperor and Empress riding in an open car past tens of thousands of citizens. Best wishes to The Emperor and Empress, may Their reign be even more than His Majesty The Emperor Emeritus.

I don't think that Abe San LDP government realises yet how much this new Emperor will encroach into politics.

Actually, the Japanese Emperor is non-political. He will not get involved in any politics of the government and He will be always neutral.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Truely nice to see Princess Masako smile and even overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude.

This is a turning moment for Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wishing the Prince and the Princess all the best in their new journey together.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

At who's expense is this parade coming at?

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Ahh, Ganbare, politics is an idiosyncratic game of identifying shades and colours, and presentation.

One does not have to necessarily be involved to express or assert one agenda or opinion.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

A prade of police.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I genuinely believe this Emperor and Empress have a pivotal role to play in society.

Especially with the current geopolitical turmoil with neighbouring countries. It will be establishing that role under current political environment.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

An emperor in the 21st century!

I am not sure about what to think about that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

¥80 million for the car. Outriders are the imperial guard. First time to see motor bike sidecars on opposite side. 26,000 police on duty.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I was near the parade at Hibiya Park but couldn't get close enough to see anything. More police than I have ever seen. Was a beautiful day for a parade though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kimigayo wa

Chiyo ni yachiyo ni*

Sazare-ishi no*

Iwao to narite*

Koke no musu made*
-5 ( +1 / -6 )

60 million yen to modify a car that sells for 20 million yen. Good business if you can get it...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

.

This ongoing extravaganza is quite exacerbating -

The divide between the rich and the struggling middle class is increasingly wider

While this emperor SAYS he wants to be 'an emperor the people can relate to ' yet he indulges - without restraint- in all this expensive pageantry.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

120,000 people is not an overwhelming crowd, given that the population of Tokyo alone is over 13 million.

The figures speak for themselves as to the sentiment of the people at large..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Long live the Emperor and Empress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didn't the world learn something about Presidents and notable people traveling in open topped vehicles in 1963?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Gorramcowboy

At who's expense is this parade coming at?

The well-wishing Japanese people. Who else?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Didn't the world learn something about Presidents and notable people traveling in open topped vehicles in 1963?

Japan does not have a CIA that carries out covert operations and the emperor is powerless that’s why.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

80 million yen well spent!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*The black Toyota Motor Corp. Century being used in the parade was picked from a pool of cars from five automakers, taking safety and environmental performance into consideration, among other factors, according to the Imperial Household Agency*

Environmental Performance??????? Were the other 49 vehicles in in the motorcade vetted for environmental performance as well?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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