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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in September at the fastest pace since a record earthquake and nuclear disaster in early 2011, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting the economy has been able to stage a full recovery due to strong domestic demand and recovering exports.
The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.5 in September from 52.2 in the previous month.
The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates contraction from expansion for the seventh month and showed that activity expanded at the fastest since February 2011, one month before the natural disaster struck the country's northeast coast.
The output component of the PMI index also gained to 53.8 from 53.5 in August, to show the fastest growth since the quake.
The index for new export orders jumped to 53.3 from 49.3 in August, marking the fastest growth in orders since March this year.
Japan's economy expanded for a third straight quarter in April-June, outpacing many G7 nations, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-growth policies bolstered household spending and drove down the yen, benefiting exports.
The Bank of Japan also offered an intense burst of stimulus in April, pledging to double the country's base money via aggressive asset purchases to achieve its 2 percent inflation target in two years.
Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Kim Coghill