Japan emperor to greet public in parade marking enthronement

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave during their royal parade in Tokyo

The use of drones, selfie sticks and tripods is also strictly prohibited. Residents in high-rise apartment buildings along the road were advised not to look down from their windows or balconies.

Japanese Emperor Naruhito has thanked tens of countless numbers of effectively-wishers who collected outdoors the palace to congratulate his enthronement at a ceremony arranged by conservative political and small business groups.

Police officers stand guard around Japan's Imperial Palace ahead of Sunday's parade.

The enthronement parade had originally been scheduled for October 22 but it was postponed in the aftermath of the devastation wrought by deadly typhoon Hagibis earlier in the month.

Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne after his father, Akihito, abdicated, marking the first time in two centuries that an emperor had stepped down during their reign.

From 3 p.m local time the imperial couple will set out in a luxury convertible sedan along a 4.6-kilometer route from the Imperial Palace.

The Cabinet Office said about 119,000 people gathered to watch the event. Some experts say the government's funding of the Shinto harvest ritual could violate constitutional separation of state and religion.

In the minutes before the parade began, police at the Hibiya crossing in central Tokyo warned would-be attendees that the area was full.

Naruhito became the new emperor on May 1 following his father's abdication due to advancing years.

"Emotion welled up and I was so happy that I was about to cry", she said.

The Rolls-Royce that carried Akihito in 1990 was retired in 2007.

Many Japanese were especially impressed by the couple freely conversing with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, during their visit weeks after Naruhito's succession in May, according to palace watchers.

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. Masako, a former diplomat, has struggled for more than a decade and had largely withdrawn from public appearances until recently. Masako developed "adjustment disorder" after giving birth to the couple's only child, Princess Aiko, and facing pressure to produce a boy in Japan's monarchy, which allows only male heirs.

"I'm looking forward to see the dress Empress Masako will wear", Ms Hiroko Kikuta, in her 60s, told AFP.



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