The number of business failures in Japan in 2014 with debts of at least 10 million yen declined 10.4 percent from the previous year to a 24-year low of 9,731, a credit research agency said Tuesday.
Corporate bankruptcies fell for the sixth straight year as banks maintained easy lending conditions for small companies, with the government front-loading public works orders, Tokyo Shoko Research said.
Liabilities left by bankrupt companies last year plunged 32.6 percent to 1.87 trillion yen, slipping below 2 trillion yen for the first time in 24 years.
No publicly traded company went bankrupt in the year for the first time since 1990.
Bankruptcies declined in the construction and manufacturing sectors but increased in the real estate, services, agricultural, and forestry and fisheries sectors.
In December alone, the number of corporate bankruptcies dropped 8.5 percent from a year earlier to 686, with liabilities totaling 178.31 billion yen, up 32.7 percent.
As last April’s consumption tax increase has affected small companies’ earnings recovery, business failures may begin to rise slightly in early spring, Tokyo Shoko Research said.