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After initially restricting the Emperor’s Cup from 88 teams down to 50 — excluding nearly all of the top two divisions in the process — the Japan Football Association on Thursday announced that it would include the winners of the J2 and J3, raising the number of participating teams to 52.

The annual cup competition will begin on Sept. 16 with 32 amateur prefectural representatives. Reigning JFL champion Honda FC and the remaining 15 prefectural representatives will join from the second round on Sept. 23.

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