Emperor, Empress Parade in Tokyo to Cheers of Crowds

Society

Tokyo, Nov. 10 (Jiji Press)--With crowds of jubilant well-wishers cheering, waving flags and taking pictures at roadside, Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako rode through central Tokyo on Sunday to celebrate the Emperor's enthronement.

Under a clear sky, the Emperor, 59, and the Empress, 55, were all smiles in a black customized convertible of Toyota Motor Corp.'s <7203> Century, waving to the throngs who descended on the capital from across the nation to witness the pageant.

The "Shukuga-Onrestu-no-Gi" parade was the first procession for the Imperial couple since a parade after their marriage in June 1993.

The Emperor, wearing a black tailcoat with medals including the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and the Empress, in a white long dress with a tiara and a medal, left the Imperial Palace at around 3 p.m. (6 a.m. GMT), to the performance of a march composed by Yukio Kitahara, conductor of the Imperial Household Agency's music department.

They spent some 30 minutes traveling about 4.6 kilometers to their residence at the Akasaka Estate under heightened security. In reaction to cheers and applause from the crowds, Empress Masako became teary-eyed at one point during the parade.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press