The Japanese economy is shrinking at a faster-than-expected rate, new figures have revealed, as the country battles against the economic downturn.
The world's second largest economy declined by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2008, giving annualised GDP growth of -1.8%, far worse than analysts had expected.
Japanese manufacturers and exporters have been hit by the strength of the Yen and declining demand in core markets in the US and Europe.
The Japanese economy has fared particularly badly during the financial crisis, having only recovered from a decade-long deflationary spiral in recent years.
However, even the most pessimistic economists had not expected such a dramatic fall in GDP, and the Prime Minister, Taro Aso, may be forced to step down over his handling of the crisis.
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