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Imperial Couple to ride open car on Nov. 10 in parade to celebrate enthronement

The Toyota open car that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will ride in during the Imperial procession on Nov. 10, 2019. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A parade in celebration of Emperor Naruhito's enthronement will take place on Nov. 10, starting from the Imperial Palace and proceeding to the Akasaka Imperial Palace in Tokyo with His Majesty and Empress Masako aboard an open car.

The motorcar procession will be the second of its kind for the Imperial Couple since their wedding parade in June 1993, when they were Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Imperial Throne on May 1 this year following his father Emperor Emeritus Akihito's abdication as the Emperor the day before. On Oct. 22, Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his enthronement during the "Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi" ceremony at the Imperial Palace, with some 2,000 people from home and abroad in attendance. While the parade was originally scheduled to take place later that day, it was postponed due to the effects of Typhoon Hagibis, which ripped through Japan in mid-October.

As a large turnout is expected to view the upcoming parade, police are significantly stepping up security measures in areas surrounding the motorcade route. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will post congestion statuses in each area via its public relations division's official Twitter account (@MPD_koho) in a bid to seek public cooperation to alleviate overcrowding.

The 4.6-kilometer procession, called "Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi," is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako riding in an open car converted from a Toyota Century hybrid sedan as they depart from the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward. Joined by a vehicle carrying Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko and other cars transporting figures including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the procession will extend a total of about 400 meters long, including security vehicles.

After passing the front gate of the National Diet building and the Akasakamitsuke area, the procession is scheduled to arrive at the Akasaka Imperial Palace in Minato Ward in about 30 minutes.

The MPD will set up stands with iron fences for well-wishers to view the parade along the motorcade course, and carry out baggage screenings and body checks at 40 checkpoints in 29 areas. The security checks are set to start at 8 a.m. that day. Cans, bottles and large pieces of luggage are banned in the controlled areas, nor can they be checked in at those checkpoints.

Tokyo Metro Co. will make part of the entrances and exits to subways stations one way at Nagatacho, Aoyama-itchome and two other stations on Nov. 10. Coin-operated lockers at 17 stations including Sakuradamon and Akasaka-mitsuke have already been closed since Nov. 6. These regulations will be lifted after the parade is over. Traffic will also be closed along Uchibori-dori Avenue and other streets near the motorcade route between 7 a.m. and around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10.

On Nov. 9, traffic is being regulated around the Imperial Palace between around noon and 8 p.m. for a large-scale event in celebration of the Emperor's accession to the throne at the Imperial Palace square.

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takashima, City News Department)

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