Japan: Emperor rides past cheering thousands in celebratory parade
TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Nearly 120,000 well-wishers attended a parade on Sunday to celebrate the Emperor’s enthronement.
Nearly 120,000 well-wishers attended a parade on Sunday to celebrate the Emperor’s enthronement, with large crowds lining the 4.6-kilometer course from the Imperial Palace to the Akasaka Imperial Palace in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
According to the government, the number of spectators totaled 119,000.
The “Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi” parade is one part of the “Sokui-no-rei” accession events. The Emperor performs ceremonial functions as outlined in the Constitution.
The Emperor and Empress left the Imperial Palace at 3 p.m. in a Toyota convertible specially made for the occasion.
From the Nijubashimae intersection, the car passed by the main gate of the Diet Building before proceeding along Aoyama-dori avenue and arriving at their residence, Akasaka Imperial Palace, shortly after 3:30 p.m.
The about 400-meter-long convoy consisted of 46 vehicles, including those of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Emperor wore a tailcoat and the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the most prestigious order in Japan. The Empress wore a formal gown and a tiara.
The Emperor smiled and waved throughout the procession to the crowds of flag-waving well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace Plaza and on streets along the route.
The Empress, apparently overwhelmed with emotion, was seen wiping away tears during the parade.