Japan's pubs, restaurants see record bankruptcies

A Japanese credit research firm says the number of pubs and restaurants going bankrupt last year hit a record high due to the pandemic.

Teikoku Databank says 780 businesses with debts of at least 10 million yen, or about 97,000 dollars, went out of business or started bankruptcy procedures. Drinking establishments made up the highest number, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total.

The situation will likely get even tougher as Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures go into a state of emergency. Operators will be asked to shorten their opening hours.

A senior researcher of Teikoku Databank said that many in the industry say they've just about reached their limits, or the situation has become financially impossible.

Akama Yuya said there've been many recent reports of delayed payments, and more businesses could fail if the uncertain outlook continues.