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The final Markit/Nikkei services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Japan increased to 50.4 in May from 49.3 in April.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction of activity.
The increase was driven by a stronger rise in new orders.
"The service sector in Japan showed signs of improving mid-way through the second quarter of 2016. Both activity and new orders rose, albeit only marginally," economist at Markit, Amy Brownbill, said.
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