Japan to pardon 550,000 criminals to mark new emperor's enthronement

Japan's Emperor Naruhito gives an address during the opening of the 200th extraordinary Diet session at the Upper House of the Parliament on October 4 in Tokyo.

(CNN)More than half a million petty criminals will be pardoned in Japan next week to mark the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, the government announced Friday.

However due to extensive damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis, the imperial procession -- during which the Emperor and Empress Masako were to be paraded before the public in a Tokyo motorcade -- has been postponed.
About 550,000 people will be given amnesties for their crimes to encourage criminals to "reform and rehabilitate," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in May, becoming the 126th Emperor of Japan and ushering in the new Reiwa era. His father, former Emperor Akihito abdicated a day earlier, becoming the country's first monarch to step down in two centuries.
    New Japanese Emperor Naruhito delivers his first speech after ascending the throne during the enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace on May 1, 2019 in Tokyo.
    Naruhito will celebrate his enthronement on Tuesday in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace attended by dignitaries from 174 countries and international organizations, followed by a series of banquets. But the public parade -- the 4.6-kilometer (2.9-mile) route from the Imperial Palace to Akasaka Palace -- will instead proceed on November 10 as the nation reels in the aftermath of Hagibis.
    Five days after it swept over the country, the death toll stood at 78 on Friday, with nine still missing and thousands of residents in rescue shelters or without power, according to public broadcaster NHK.
    About 110,000 personnel are still deployed from the fire department, self-defense force and police to a