WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday substantially raised Japan’s 2004 economic growth estimate to 4.5 percent from 3.4 percent in its April forecast, the highest since 1990.

In an annual report assessing Japan’s economic conditions, the IMF also revised upward its projection for growth in Japan’s real gross domestic product in 2005 to 2.4 percent from the April estimate of 1.9 percent.

“There are clear indications that Japan’s long-standing economic problems have eased,” the IMF said.

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