In a rare move, Japan plans to slash its initial projection for real gross domestic product to around minus 3 percent for fiscal 2009 in light of the global economic slump, government sources have said.

In December, the government projected zero growth for the year that began 1 April. But now it is expecting a large contraction because of the damage the U.S. recession is inflicting on Japan's export-based economy, the sources said.

Japan Times