Photo/IllutrationPolice officers accompany motor vehicles taking part in a rehearsal on Oct. 6 for the enthronement parade to be held for Emperor Naruhito. (Yuta Takahashi)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Tokyo police will deploy about 26,000 officers to ensure a Nov. 10 parade celebrating the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito goes off without a hitch.

Officers will be stationed along the 4.6-kilometer route, and also patrol buildings to guard against any disruptions by agitators or others bent on terrorist acts.

Given that tens of thousands of spectators are anticipated, those seeking a place along the parade route will be required to submit to having their bags and backpacks checked. Banned items include knives, bottles, cans and even tripods and sticks to hold a smartphone to take selfies.

As police will not be holding on to any banned items, those found to be in breach of the rules will not be allowed to enter the special viewing areas set up along the parade route.

The parade will begin at 3 p.m. from the Imperial Palace.

Naruhito and Empress Masako will ride in a retrofitted Toyota Motor Corp. Century model convertible with seats rearranged so the crowd can get a good view of the couple. An imperial banner will be attached to the vehicle's hood, and the car will bear a special license plate indicating it is transporting the emperor and empress.

The parade route will take the couple past the Diet Building before reaching Aoyama Avenue. The 30-minute parade will end at the Akasaka Imperial Residence where Naruhito and Masako reside with their daughter Aiko.

The convoy following the imperial couple will be about 400 meters long. Occupying other vehicles will be Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and high-ranking officials of the Imperial Household Agency.

Police inspections will be conducted at 40 locations along 29 points of the parade route. The inspections will begin at different areas at different times: 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Special viewing areas marked off by piped fences are set up along the route and spectators will have to stand behind the fences to view the parade. Cheering is welcome, but not shouting.

One reason for that is that during the November 1990 parade for Naruhito's father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, an individual threw firecrackers at the procession.

The Metropolitan Police Department contacted business operators and residents of condominiums situated along the parade route to request that no one look down at or photograph the parade. Police will be stationed at all buildings along the route as a security precaution.

Some exits of subway stations along the route, such as Sakuradamon, Nagatacho, Akasaka-mitsuke and Aoyama-itchome, will be closed and lockers rendered inoperable.

Roads and expressways in the vicinity of the parade route will be closed to traffic from as early as 7 a.m. until around 4:30 p.m.

The parade was originally scheduled for Oct. 22, but was postponed in light of widespread damage from Typhoon No. 19 which swept through the Kanto region on Oct. 12.

The tighter security will continue on Nov. 14 and 15 when the Daijosai ceremony will be held within the Imperial Palace grounds.

(This article was written by Yohei Kobayakawa and Chihaya Inagaki.)