TOKYO - The Imperial Household Agency unveiled on Monday a specially built convertible sedan to be used by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in a parade this month to mark his enthronement.
The government chose Toyota Motor Corp.'s Century from a pool of cars from five automakers, taking safety and environmental performance into consideration among other features, the agency said.
The car has white leather seats and backrests whose heights and angles have been set in such a way as to give roadside spectators the best view of the couple during the Oct. 22 parade.
Painted in shiny black and sporting the imperial crests of the chrysanthemum, the customized car will also have the flag of the emperor on the front. The vehicle is estimated to have cost no more than 80 million yen ($750,000), according to the agency.
Crown Prince Fumihito -- the younger brother of the emperor, Crown Princess Kiko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join the motorcade on its 4.6-kilometer route, leaving the Imperial Palace at 3:30 p.m. for the Akasaka Imperial Residence.
In case of inclement weather, the parade, which will follow a ceremony to proclaim the emperor's ascension to the Chrysanthemum throne, will be rescheduled for Oct. 26.
The government plans to exhibit the vehicle at the state guest houses in Tokyo and Kyoto after the parade.
Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on May 1 after his father, former Emperor Akihito, abdicated the previous day -- the country's first monarch to do so in about two centuries.