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The government will convene a meeting of Japan’s top economists next month to formally admit that Japan’s economy is now in a recession, a government source said Wednesday.

Only economists are officially permitted to comment on the state of Japan’s economy. Although economists have long been saying in private that the economy is in recession, the official government position has been that the economy began a phase of expansion in October 1993 and has continued to grow.

At the monthly economic meeting by the Cabinet, however, it has long been tacitly acknowledged that the economy is weakening. Next month’s meeting will formally and officially confirm that any boom that did exist was over by last May or January, the source said.

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