National

Imperial Household unveils enthronement parade vehicle: a customized Toyota Century

Kyodo

The Imperial Household Agency on Monday unveiled a specially built car that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will ride in during a parade this month to mark his enthronement.

The government chose Toyota Motor Corp.’s Century from a pool of cars from five automakers, taking safety, environmental performance and other features into consideration, the agency said.

The convertible sedan has white leather seats and backrests whose heights and angles have been set in such a way as to give roadside spectators the best view of the couple during the Oct. 22 parade.

The customized black car, which is adorned with imperial chrysanthemum crests, will also fly the emperor’s personal standard at the front. The vehicle is estimated to have cost no more than ¥80 million, according to the agency.

The emperor’s younger brother Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join the motorcade on its 4.6-kilometer route, leaving the Imperial Palace at 3:30 p.m. for the Akasaka imperial residence.

In case of inclement weather, the parade, which will follow a ceremony proclaiming the emperor’s ascension to the chrysanthemum throne, will be rescheduled for Oct. 26.

The government plans to exhibit the vehicle at the state guest houses in Tokyo and Kyoto after the parade.

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1 after his father, former Emperor Akihito, abdicated the previous day — the country’s first monarch to do so in about two centuries.

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