National

Government decides route of October parade to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's enthronement

Kyodo

The government said Tuesday it has decided on the October parade route to be taken by the imperial couple to celebrate Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne earlier this month.

The open motorcade is expected to spend 30 minutes driving the 4.6 kilometers from the Imperial Palace to Akasaka Palace in the capital on Oct. 22, to be cheered by the public. The route, to be driven in a convertible version of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Century luxury sedan, will differ slightly from the one taken by Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko when the former emperor ascended the throne in 1990.

The route for the current imperial couple’s wedding parade in 1993 was also considered but rejected.

A clear view of the emperor and empress along the route was a crucial consideration, both for security and to allow the crowd to see them easily.

The motorcade will drive near Nijubashi-mae crossing, Hibiya Park, Sakuradamon crossing and the National Diet Building, then drive from the crossing at Akasaka Mitsuke along Aoyama-dori street to the Akasaka Palace.

“We sought a route that allowed for easy accommodation of the crowd, good views and large spaces, and which would not disrupt other traffic,” said Kazuhiro Sugita, a deputy chief Cabinet secretary who is part of the governmental planning committee for imperial succession rituals.

The motorcade will also include Crown Prince Akishino accompanied by his wife Crown Princess Kiko, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga among others.

The parade will be preceded on the day by the Sokuirei Seiden no Gi enthronement ceremony to proclaim the imperial succession at home and abroad, which is expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries and envoys