Britain's Prince Charles and delegations from more than 50 other nations arrived Saturday for Emperor Akihito's coronation. Police began blocking Tokyo streets to try to prevent terrorist attacks.
Scores of foreign VIPs, including Vice President Dan Quayle, will attend the ceremony, which begins Monday.The coronation is the first Japan has feted since Akihito's father, the late Emperor Hirohito, was enthroned in 1928. Representatives from 28 countries, most of them ambassadors to Japan, attended that ceremony.
Akihito's coronation also will be the largest international gathering here since Hirohito's funeral in February 1989, which drew top-level dignitaries from 163 nations.
Police have been particularly tense over the past few weeks because of increased violence linked to leftist radical groups, which have threatened to "annihilate" the coronation and kill the emperor.
Radicals, who claimed responsibility for a blast that killed a police officer and injured six other people in Tokyo on Nov. 1, are suspected of involvement in more than 60 incidents this year.
In the past week alone, three Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple associated with the imperial family were razed by fires believed set by radicals.