Thousands of people carrying lanterns and waving flags thronged to the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo Saturday to celebrate Emperor Akihito's enthronement. Akihito, accompanied by Empress Michiko, appeared at a palace balcony and waved to the crowds, led by Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. Police estimated 47,000 people took part in the event, organized by government and civic organizations.

The crowd paraded through main streets on their way to the palace, waving placards hailing the nation's symbolic leader.