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3/11 disaster-linked failures reach 1,139 in two years

JIJI

Nationwide, 1,139 companies have gone bust in the two-year aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and continuing nuclear disaster, with liabilities totaling ¥1.31 trillion, according to a private credit research company.

The business failures were triggered by collapses of company buildings and sales plunges caused by the March 2011 disaster, the research firm said Thursday.

Compared with the two years since the Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated the Kobe area in 1995, the number of disaster-caused bankruptcies was 3.4 times higher and the total debt amount 14 times larger, it said.

Though the number of such bankruptcies declined to 489 in the second year from 650 in the first year, one or more companies have gone under every day, Teikoku Databank’s industry research division said.

“Disaster-related business failures will continue,” it forecast.

By region, Tokyo had the most bankruptcies, at 297, accounting for 26.1 percent of the total. In the three Tohoku prefectures that were hardest hit by the March 2011 disaster, there were 140 business failures, or 12.3 percent of the total, linked to the catastrophe — 74 in Miyagi, 45 in Fukushima and 21 in Iwate.

About 70 percent of the disaster-caused bankruptcies, or 800 cases, took place in eastern to northern Japan.