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Tokyo police to tighten security near Emperor's enthronement parade route

A motorcade starts from the Imperial Palace during a rehearsal for a parade to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's enthronement in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 6, 2019. (Mainichi/Junichi Sasaki)

TOKYO -- The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced on Nov. 5 it would establish security checkpoints at 40 locations in 29 areas along the route for the upcoming parade to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's enthronement.

As there will be a security clampdown and large-scale traffic restrictions in areas near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward during the Nov. 10 "Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi" ceremony, the MPD advised people wishing to view the spectacle to leave their homes with time to spare.

General roads near the parade route will be closed between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and part of the Inner Circular Route as well as the Shuto Expressway Route 4 will also be shut down between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The motorcar procession is scheduled to start from the Imperial Palace and proceed to the Akasaka Imperial Grounds in the capital's Minato Ward. Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne in May, and Empress Masako will board an open car around 3 p.m.

Viewing stands surrounded by iron rails will be set up by the MDP along most of the roughly 4.6-kilometer route. A security checkpoint will be established at the entrance of such stands, where body and baggage inspections of visitors will be conducted.

Spectators won't be allowed to secure a spot in advance, and will need to clear security again if they leave the viewing stands and later return. According to the MPD, if the stands are heavily congested and security checkpoints close, no more people will be allowed to enter the viewing areas.

Furthermore, the use of some subway entrances situated along the parade route will be restricted. One such passage will only allow one-way entry or exit from around 7 a.m. on the day of the parade. Police officers will also conduct baggage inspections at buildings facing the route.

To beef up security, the MPD will also dispatch an increased number of Emergency Response Team members who will carry submachine guns near key facilities, conduct vehicle inspections and strengthen measures against drones among other initiatives.

(Japanese original by Takayuki Kanamori, City News Department)

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