Japan bankruptcies surge in August

A credit research firm says corporate bankruptcies in Japan rose sharply in August, as small- and medium-sized firms struggle to pay back relief loans extended during the pandemic.

Teikoku Databank says 742 businesses began liquidation proceedings last month, up more than 50.5 percent from the same month last year. That's the third biggest increase since record-keeping began in the current format in 2000, and marks the 16th consecutive year-on-year growth.

The failed companies each had debts of at least 10 million yen, or about 70,000 dollars. The services industry had the largest number of failures with 187, followed by the construction and retail sectors.

The number of failures linked to the repayment of COVID relief loans hit 62. Cases since January reached 419, already topping the tally for 2022.