Over 1,700 business failures linked to March 2011 triple disaster


A total of 1,726 businesses went bankrupt due to reasons linked to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear disaster, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd.

Liabilities left by the failed companies comes to ¥1.56 trillion, the private credit research company said Monday.

The number of bankruptcies stood at 650 in the first year following the disasters, then decreased to 489 in the second year, 354 in the third year and 233 in the fourth year.

Still, Teikoku Databank said bankruptcies are expected to continue occurring sporadically. In the fourth year, many companies that had managed to continue operations despite damage from the disasters were finally forced to shut down, the research company said.

Recently, about 20 companies have gone bust per month, it said.

In comparison, 394 companies went bankrupt in the first three years after the Kobe area was devastated by a major earthquake in January 1995.

With the impact of the 2011 triple disaster spreading to wide areas of the country, the number of bankruptcies in the four years totaled 409 in Tokyo, followed by 146 in Miyagi Prefecture, 94 in Ibaraki Prefecture, and 92 each in Hokkaido and Shizuoka Prefecture.

The number stood at 34 in Iwate Prefecture and 55 in Fukushima Prefecture.

Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima were the three prefectures hit hardest by the quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns.

By industry, the number of bankruptcies came to 380 in the services sector, 349 in the wholesale sector and 337 in the manufacturing sector, Teikoku Databank said.

Of all bankruptcies in the four years, 180 were caused by the effects of the nuclear disaster at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant. In the fourth year, the number of such bankruptcies came to 36, or 15.5 percent of the total of 233 bankruptcies. The proportion was up from 11.3 percent in the third year.