TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese Emperor Naruhito has thanked tens of thousands of well-wishers who gathered outside the palace to congratulate his enthronement at a ceremony organized by conservative political and business groups.
Naruhito and Empress Masako greeted well-wishers from the Nijubashi bridge Saturday as the crowd shouted cheers of Banzai, or long live, for the emperor in unison, while waving Japanese "rising sun" flags.
Naruhito, who has pledged to stay close to the people, expressed his sympathy to the victims and residents hit by deadly rainstorms last month.
Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He proclaimed his enthronement at in an ancient-style palace ceremony on Oct. 22.
Saturday's celebration comes on the eve of a royal parade postponed due to the storm damage.