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Japan Mutual Funds Turning In Great Results

The best performers are focusing on small and high-growth companies.

TOKYO -- Americans playing Japan's stock market have had a great year. The average Japan fund is up 98% this year, according to

Lipper Analytical

, which monitors and ranks mutual funds. That was better than a 20% return on the average diversified U.S. equity fund.

Funds focusing on high-growth and small companies, unsurprisingly, turned in the best performances. The big-cap

Nikkei Index

is up 31.9% year to date; the small-cap


has leapt 190%.

The best-performing Japan funds so far this year are the

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Warburg Pincus


Japan Small Company fund,

Warburg Pincus


Japan Growth fund and the


(FJSCX) - Get Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies Report

Japan Small Companies fund. All are sporting 200%-plus gains so far this year.