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Japanese companies are increasing overseas acquisitions, using their cash hoards to snap up assets beaten down by the global credit crisis and economic slowdown.

The value of foreign purchases this year has already topped 2007’s total by 91 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest gain among the world’s 10 largest markets and contrasts with fewer deals in the U.S. and U.K., where credit is drying up after the subprime rout.

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