Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck Help Celebrate Japan Prefecture’s 150th Anniversary

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters are seen in Chuo Ward, Chiba, on Thursday.

CHIBA — Some 72,000 people gathered Thursday in Chiba City for a parade to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Chiba Prefecture.

As part of the event, a special parade marking the 40th anniversary of Tokyo Disney Resort — based in the prefecture — was also held, with Mickey Mouse and other popular Disney characters enlivening proceedings with their antics.

It was the third time this year for a commemorative parade to be held in Chiba Prefecture, following similar occurrences in the cities of Urayasu and Tateyama.

“We’re very happy to hold a parade in the prefecture’s oldest city,” said Chiba Prefecture Gov. Toshihito Kumagai during the opening ceremony. “Together, we want to enliven the city for the next 50 to 100 years.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People take part in an event marking the 150th anniversary of Chiba Prefecture on Thursday in Chuo Ward, Chiba.

The parade started down a 850-meter-long Chuo Ward street at 12:30 p.m. led by the prefecture’s police orchestra and about 500 cheerleaders affiliated with professional sports teams in the prefecture, including the Chiba Lotte Marines.

At the climax of the event, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters made their entrance in a special 40th anniversary car. Spectators, many of whom wore Disney character-related hats, waved and used their smartphones to take photos and videos.