10/21/2019, 12.28
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Tokyo, bad weather means changes to Naruhito's enthronement

The solemn 30-minute function will take place starting at 13:00 tomorrow. Vestments and items of ceremonial officials vulnerable to rain. Dignitaries from over 170 countries and international organizations expected at the Imperial Palace.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The bad weather forecast for tomorrow may force the Imperial House to make last-minute changes to the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, according to the government agency.

In front of about 2 thousand guests, the emperor will declare his enthronement in the “Sokuirei Seiden no gi”- an ancient ceremony equivalent to a coronation - from an elevated platform inside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

According to the current plan, the masters of ceremonies responsible for carrying swords and bows, along with the drum and gong players, will line up outside in the courtyard, which will be decorated with colored flags and spears. With high probability, rain is expected tomorrow: officials may have to move inside the building; if the weather is bad, the organizers will remove the flags altogether.

The 30-minute ceremony will take place from 1:00 pm in the "Matsu no Ma" the Pine Chamber. Naruhito will ascend the 6.5-meter high Takamikura canopy throne. As Takamikura curtains open, the emperor - dressed in traditional Japanese clothes - will stand up and deliver a speech.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will then transmit "yogoto" congratulations from the floor of the room and will guide the guests in three banzai applauses, to wish the emperor longevity.

The clothes that must be worn by the masters of ceremonies and the objects they will carry are vulnerable to rain, while the flags could be blown away in strong winds. The Agency is therefore considering reducing the number of officials and transferring them internally. The decision will be made tomorrow, but it will be "difficult enough" to judge to what extent the rain and winds will affect the ceremony program, to which dignitaries are expected from over 170 countries and international organizations.

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