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Housing starts in Japan rose 1.2 percent in September from a year earlier to 98,369 units, according to a government report released Friday.

It was the first rise in two months, thanks to increased starts on owner-occupied homes and homes built for sale, the report compiled by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry says.

The upturn came after a 5.4 percent drop in August that represented the first decline in three months. The rises in starts on owner-occupied homes and homes built for sale more than offset a decline in starts on homes for rent, the ministry said.

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