Japan's continuing export-driven recovery helped economic growth accelerate in the first three months of 2010, official figures have shown.
The country's economy grew by 1.2% between January and March, compared with the previous quarter, the BBC reports.
On an annualised basis, growth was 4.9%, less than analysts had predicted.
Separately, the International Monetary Fund this week urged Japan to start cutting its massive debt burden from next year.
It said Japan should start increasing consumption tax to tackle its debt, which at nearly 230% of GDP is the highest of any industrialised nation.