Japan: Emperor to declare accession at enthronement ceremony
TOKYO - The main enthronement proclamation ceremony, one of the rituals to mark the Emperor’s accession to the throne, is to be held Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in the presence of about 2,000 guests, including representatives from 183 countries, the United Nations and the European Union.
The Emperor will declare his accession at the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi ceremony. The about 400 foreign guests will include Britain’s Prince Charles, other royalty and heads of state. They will be joined by representatives of various fields in Japan, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the heads of the administrative, legislative and judicial branches, Diet members and governors.
Sadaharu Oh, chairman of the company operating the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks; ninth-dan shogi player Yoshiharu Habu; and Susumu Nakanishi, a professor emeritus at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies who is believed to have created the new era name, Reiwa, will also be among the 1,600 guests from Japan.
The 30-minute key enthronement event will be held in the Matsu-no-Ma room, starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Kyoen-no-gi banquets will be held that evening at the Imperial Palace.
For this year only, Oct. 22 is designated by law as a national holiday.
The Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi parade planned to celebrate the enthronement was postponed to Nov. 10, in consideration of the people in areas hit by Typhoon No. 19.
Police on alert
The Metropolitan Police Department went on full alert Monday morning at Haneda Airport and other locations as foreign guests began to arrive to attend the Emperor’s enthronement ceremony.
The MPD mobilized a number of police bodyguards to accompany about 400 guests from overseas. Extensive traffic controls will also be enforced around the Imperial Palace and on the Metropolitan Expressway on Tuesday to tighten security.
Mainly riot police officers, excluding those of prefectures stricken by Typhoon No. 19, will guard the Imperial Palace, where the ceremony will be held. They will also guard the State Guest House in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
An armed emergency response team to subdue terrorists, and a special unit to control suspicious drones in the air, were on standby in case of emergency.
The MPD will close the Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo, with the exception of some routes, from 10 a.m. Tuesday in tandem with the movement of foreign guests. Traffic on city streets around the Imperial Palace will be temporarily controlled.
Traffic will also be regulated Wednesday on the Metropolitan Expressway and elsewhere.
In 1990, when the accession ceremonies were held for the now Emperor Emeritus, extremists opposed to the Imperial system were responsible for about 140 guerrilla incidents. The MPD is on alert against extremist attacks, as demonstrations and other activities have been planned in Tokyo.