A total of 4,324 Japanese companies went bankrupt in the April-September period, up 37.6 percent year-on-year, a local credit research company reported on Tuesday.
It marked an increase for the second year in a row in corporate bankruptcies, which exceeded 4,000 for the first time in four years, according to a survey conducted by Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd.
In the first half of fiscal 2023, the total amount of debt of business failures with debts of no less than 10 million yen came in at 1.596 trillion yen (about 10.72 billion U.S. dollars), down 8.3 percent year-on-year, the survey showed.
The firm said many companies experienced difficulties in repaying financial aid they had received from the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing financial burdens including high prices and labor shortages, the firm said it is more difficult for companies with excessive debt to raise new funds.
Regionally, all the country’s nine regions saw their bankruptcy cases growing from a year ago for the reporting period, the first time in 15 years, said the survey.
By industry, for the first time in 32 years, all ten industries saw growth in the number of corporate bankruptcies.
The service industry saw its total bankruptcy cases up 42.1 percent year-on-year to reach 1,468, the highest among different industries and up for the second consecutive year.
The survey added that a total of 486 wholesalers failed due to rising costs amid the weak yen.
In September alone, Japanese business failures rose for the 18th straight month to 720 cases, with their total liabilities up 377.6 percent year-on-year, a separate survey by the company showed on Tuesday.