Thousands cheer Japan's new imperial couple in parade through Tokyo

Japan emperor greets at celebration hosted by conservatives

Tokyo - Tens of thousands of people cheered Japan's new Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, as their motorcade passed through Tokyo on Sunday.

Security forces lined the entire length of the route in double rows, keeping close watch as the slow-moving parade passed by, flanked by police on motorbikes.

"But it's regrettable that we just had a glimpse of the vehicle".

"The Emperor is a few years younger than me but belongs to the same generation, and I feel connected with him", Ms Oshita said.

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. "And Empress Masako is someone who can be a role model for modern women with full-time jobs".

The emperor officially proclaimed his enthronement on October 22 before some 2,000 Japanese and foreign dignitaries in the "Sokuirei Seiden no gi" ceremony, equivalent to a coronation.

The ceremony is the culmination of a series of succession rituals that began in May, when Naruhito succeeded his 85-year-old father Akihito.

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The parade started from the Imperial Palace with the Kimigayo national anthem played by the marching band.

Despite concerns about her health and skepticism over her ability to fulfill even part of the hugely popular former Empress Michiko's work, Masako has been seen in good health and in smiles as she attended most of her duties recently.

There are expectations that Naruhito, the first emperor with a college degree who also studied overseas, and his Harvard-educated wife Masako, will internationalise the imperial household.

She has struggled to adjust to cloistered royal life, suffering an adjustment disorder that led to a scaling back of her public appearances.

The parade was the first since Naruhito and Masako's marriage in June 1993, just three years after their parents celebrated their enthronement in a Rolls-Royce. Many Japanese people were especially impressed by the couple freely conversing with US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during their visit weeks after Naruhito's succession in May, according to palace watchers.

However, the official proclamation of his enthronement was carried out in October, in a ceremony equivalent to a coronation.

The parade comes a day after a national festival to celebrate the enthronement with dancers and pop stars offering performances.

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