Japan ceded the title of the world`s second largest economy to China, the NHK TV channel said on Monday citing a government report, according to RIA Novosti.

Japan had the world`s second largest GDP since 1968. In 2010, its GDP stood at $5.474 trillion, up 3.9% from the previous year. The Chinese GDP grew to $5.878 trillion last year.

"Japan`s economy stumbled in the October-December period last year, contracting for the first time in 5 quarters, and ceding its spot as the world`s second-largest economy to China," the channel said.

The Japanese government says the trend is due to the decrease in private consumption and exports.