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Japan to hold emperor's enthronement parade on Nov. 10

Cars and motorcycles are seen driving in procession in Tokyo on Oct. 6, 2019, during a rehearsal for an Oct. 22 parade to mark Japanese Emperor Naruhito's enthronement. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved the postponement of Emperor Naruhito's enthronement parade until Nov. 10 in the aftermath of a deadly typhoon last weekend.

    The approximately 5-kilometer parade from the Imperial Palace to the Akasaka Imperial Residence in Tokyo had been originally planned for next Tuesday. The enthronement ceremony and a banquet will be held as planned the same day.

    The postponement comes after the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako had expressed heartfelt wishes that the lives of people in the typhoon-hit areas would return to normal soon.

    With rescue and relief efforts involving police, firefighters and the Self-Defense Forces under way, the government apparently judged that the parade, to be held under tight security, should be put off.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Thursday that the government was considering pushing back the parade as he visited Miyagi and Fukushima, both hit hard by Typhoon Hagibis, which flooded vast areas of the country and damaged lifelines.

    Dignitaries from over 190 countries and international organizations will attend the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne on May 1 following the abdication of his father, former Emperor Akihito, the previous day.

    The imperial couple will ride in a convertible sedan in the roughly 30-minute parade on Nov. 10, ahead of the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony known as the Daijosai scheduled for Nov. 14-15.

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