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Thursday
May192011

Earthquake, Tsunami Sends Japan's Economy into Recession

JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan two months ago have sent the country's economy back into recession.

New economic figures out Thursday show that Japan's gross domestic product shrank nearly four percent between January and March, marking the second straight quarter of decline -- an indication of a recession.

The latest report examines just 20 days following the disasters, but economists say the long-term impact is huge.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged major factories and led to parts shortages for several manufacturers, including the top players in the auto industry -- Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was also crippled by the natural disasters, sparking a nuclear crisis and causing power shortages and futher damages to businesses.

Economic analysts say the massive reconstruction effort that's underway could help lift Japan's economy.

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