Business failures in Japan between April and September fell 8.3 percent from a year earlier to 5,049, the fewest in 24 years for the period, a research firm said Wednesday.
Bankruptcies in the first half of fiscal 2014 fell for the sixth straight year as financial institutions have been increasingly agreeing to extend debt repayment periods for small and medium-sized businesses, and some companies have benefited from an increase in public works projects, Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. said. The firm counted bankruptcies with liabilities of 10 million yen or more.
Total bankruptcy liabilities were down 49.5 percent to 907.8 billion yen, with no large failures during the period.
But failures attributed to the weaker yen, which has raised the cost of imported raw materials, more than doubled, the research company said. The yen has tumbled from around 98 to the dollar in late September last year to more than 108 late last month.
“Conditions will worsen for small and mid-sized businesses if the yen continues its downtrend, as it is difficult for them to pass on cost increases,” a Tokyo Shoko Research official said.
Among 10 business sectors, failures declined across seven sectors including construction and retail, but rose in real estate, services, and agriculture and mining.
In September alone, bankruptcies were up 0.9 percent from a year earlier at 827.