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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan emperor greets at celebration hosted by conservatives

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako wave to well-wishers during a national festival to celebrate his enthronement at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

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.

Well-wishers hold Japanese national flags as they cheer during a national festival to celebrate the throne of new emperor at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Nov. 9, 2019.   © AP

 

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