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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan emperor performs centuries-old succession rite

Naruhito attends private Daijosai ritual in specially built complex

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako during the Daijosai ceremony at the Imperial Palace Thursday in Tokyo. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- Emperor Naruhito made his first offering of new harvests to the gods Thursday during a closed-door ceremony attended by 510 people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The centuries-old Daijosai ceremony, held to give thanks as well as to pray for national peace and prosperity, is performed only once by an emperor during his reign. This paramount observance was last conducted at the Imperial Palace on November 1990, after Naruhito's father, Emperor Akihito, assumed the throne.

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