With the Japanese general election just days away, the party that forms a government is going to have its work cut out for it, as the nation has slipped into a technical recession.
In the six months to September 2012, the world's third-largest economy shrank, according to final gross domestic product (GDP) data released today.
The figures show that output fell by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of the year, which is in line with previous estimates, but the government revised the previous quarter's activity lower to an annualised 0.1 per cent contraction.
This is Japan's fifth recession in 15 years and strengthens Shinzo Abe's campaign for the premiership along with his Liberal Democratic Party, which is looking to snatch the leadership from the Democratic Party, which has been in power for three years.
At close of play in Tokyo this morning, the Nikkei 225 index was stable, making marginal gains to a value of 9533.75 points.
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