Japan's public pension fund said on Wednesday the rate of return on its investments surged to plus 7.91 percent in the 2009/10 financial year, following a record loss of minus 7.57 percent the year before.

Sharp gains in domestic and international shares lifted the Government Pension Investment Fund's (GPIF) performance, erasing a large portion of the losses made in 2008/09 when the fund was hit by the market turmoil following the failure of Lehman Brothers.

GPIF, the world's largest pension fund, said it posted a profit of 9.185 trillion yen ($104 billion) in 2009/10 after losing 9.35 trillion yen the previous year.

GPIF's total assets, which are greater than India's gross domestic product, rose to 122.84 trillion yen ($1.39 trillion) at the end of March, compared with 117.63 trillion yen the year before.

The rate of return on market investments, which excludes Fiscal Investment and Loan Program (FILP) bonds, was plus 9.55 percent in 2009/10 compared with minus 10.03 percent.

On its performance for the previous quarter, GPIF said the rate of return dropped slightly to plus 1.29 percent, or 1.55 trillion yen profit, in January-March from plus 1.47 percent, or 1.78 trillion yen profit, in October-December. (Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Joseph Radford)