Japan's economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent in the October to December period, posting the eighth straight quarter of expansion due to growth in consumer spending and capital expenditure.
That marked the longest streak of growth since a 12-quarter stretch between April to June 1986 and January to March 1989 around the height of Japan's economic bubble.
The preliminary reading for fourth-quarter gross domestic product compared with a median estimate of a 0.9 percent annualized increase in a Reuters poll of economists.
It followed a revised 2.2 percent annualized rate of expansion in the third quarter, the Cabinet Office data showed on Wednesday.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 0.1 percent, slightly less than the median estimate for a 0.2 percent increase.