Supporters celebrate Japan's emperor, empress during parade

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave lanterns to well-wishers during the celebration

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave lanterns to well-wishers during the celebration

"I deeply appreciate the large number of people gathering here to celebrate my enthronement despite the cold weather", said the emperor, accompanied by Empress Masako, appearing on the stone bridge near the palace entrance.

Tight security will be in place, with police conducting ID checks at buildings along with the route and baggage inspections at dozens of locations from the morning. Selfie sticks, bottles and banners - and even shouting - are not allowed inside the restricted zone.

Naruhito, who ascended the throne on May 1, also expressed hopes for progress in recovery and rebuilding efforts for people whose lives were impacted by Typhoon No. 19, which devastated eastern Japan last month.

The 4.6 km parade route took the emperor and empress from the Imperial Palace to the Akasaka Estate.

The parade was supposed to take place on the day of the announcement of the accession of the new emperor to the throne on October 22, but due to the tragic consequences of the typhoon Hagibis, which shortly before that claimed the lives of 95 people, it was made a decision to transfer him to this Sunday.

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Sunday's event was the first since one was held for Naruhito and Masako's marriage in June 1993, just three years after his parents marked their enthronement with a parade.

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Naruhito, wearing a tail coat decorated with medals and carrying a brimmed hat, and Masako, in an off-white long dress and wearing a tiara, kept waving from a Toyota Century convertible. The government estimated some 119,000 people attended, public broadcaster NHK said.

The parade wraps up Naruhito's official succession events, though he'll perform a highly religious imperial rite later this week.

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

He said he admired the former emperor and wants to see Naruhito continue his father's work. Conservatives insist on the male-only succession, but Suzuki says he wouldn't mind a female monarch. In the previous such ceremony, Rolls-Royce Corniche III was used.

She won plaudits for her assured performance when US President Donald Trump became the first foreign leader to meet the new emperor, winning praise in particular for her ability to converse in fluent English.

Naruhito, who studied at Oxford, is a historian, a viola player and an expert on water transport.

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