Emperor's Enthronement Celebrated With Procession

Emperor's enthronement celebrated with procession

Japan's new Emperor and Empress enthralled people in Tokyo and around the nation with a lavish procession through the streets of the capital.

Crowds gathered in the city center on Sunday to celebrate the historic occasion of the enthronement, against the backdrop of the city's national buildings and its fall foliage.

Well-wishers had already gathered around the Imperial Palace early in the morning to secure a place for a good look at the Imperial couple.

Twenty-six-thousand police officers were mobilized from across the country.

They set up dozens of checkpoints to make sure the spectators were not carrying banned objects, such as bottles, lighters, drones and selfie-sticks.

After the inspection, people lined along the parade route, holding the national flags.

The procession started at the Imperial Palace, as musicians from the Imperial Household Agency played the newly composed march "Reiwa."

It's named after the current era which began when Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on May 1.

Crown Prince and Princess Akishino, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in the parade.

The motorcade consisted of 46 vehicles, including police motorcycles.

Bands from the Imperial Household Agency, police and other organizations performed along the 4.6-kilometer route to share in the celebratory mood.

Members of the Imperial Guard and the Self-Defense Forces saluted the couple as they passed.

After about 30 minutes, the Emperor and Empress arrived at their residence on the grounds of the Akasaka Estate.

The parade was the last of the five key ceremonies related to the accession.