People cheer as the motorcade of Japanese Emperor Naruhito leaves the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday. AFP
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako rode through central Tokyo on Sunday in a motorcade to mark this year's imperial succession as well-wishers waved national flags and held up mobile phones for snapshots of the smiling royal couple.
Emperor Naruhito, 59, acceded to the throne in May after his father, Akihito, became the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.
The parade was originally due to take place on Oct. 22, when the emperor officially proclaimed his enthronement before dignitaries from about 190 countries, but it was postponed as Japan grappled with the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.
Under a cloudless blue sky, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Harvard-educated former diplomat, waved from an open-top Toyota Century limousine, which cruised through streets lined with spectators and police.
The emperor wore a tailcoat and Empress Masako a white dress and a tiara that sparkled in the sunshine. It was a stark contrast from last month's enthronement ceremony, in which both wore traditional robes.
Empress Masako appeared moved. Japanese media reported she appeared to wipe away an emotional tear during the 4.6-kilometre (2.9 miles) ride.
Tens of thousands of spectators from across the country gathered along the route, which was packed many rows deep with cheering, flag-waving well-wishers. The government estimated some 119,000 people attended, public broadcaster NHK said.
Some began queuing on Saturday to ensure a good vantage point on the route.
"To witness this historical moment with my own eyes and to see the smile of the emperor and empress, I wanted to be in the front," said Hiyori Okazaki, who queued from late on Saturday in front of the Imperial Palace.
"I couldn't wait so came last night."
Toshiko Ito, who visited Tokyo with her husband for the procession, said she was thrilled to see the couple.
"Emotion welled up and I was so happy that I was about to cry," she said.
While bands played celebratory music, the 400-metre long motorcade of 46 vehicles, including cars carrying including Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, moved slowly through the streets.
About 16.1 billion yen ($147 million) has been earmarked for succession-related ceremonies throughout the year, including Sunday's parade, up 30% from Akihito's succession three decades ago.
Having trouble waking up in the morning? Not getting enough sleep? The company that brought you Pokemon Go may have a solution: a game "played" by sleeping.
Japanese Emperor Aikihito and Empress Michiko celebrated their Diamond anniversary on Wednesday, marking six decades of a marriage that helped modernise the monarchy.
His father, Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought World War Two, was considered a living deity until after Japan's defeat in 1945, when he renounced his divinity.
The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFO), has marked its first participation at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2022). The entity is showcasing its innovative strategies and programmes to strengthen the emirate’s status as a child- and family-friendly city to the book fair’s global audience.
Clashes erupted between Turkish police and gunmen in the historic Beyazit Market in the center of Istanbul's old city, injuring a policeman and wounding 6 others.
Police said that Urooj Abbas, 21, and Anisa Abbas, 23, were allegedly killed for refusing to bring their husbands — cousins from forced marriages — to Spain. They were severely tortured and shot dead in Gujrat district.