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The waiting is now over for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, who celebrated the birth of their first child — a girl — on Saturday, 8 1/2 years after their wedding.

The nation had been anticipating the birth ever since the Imperial Household Agency announced in May that the 37-year-old Crown Princess was three months pregnant. There were expectations that news of the Imperial birth would bring some cheer to a nation that has been in an economic slump since before the royal wedding.

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