Nearly 8,000 companies went bankrupt between January and June with combined liabilities of 6.37 trillion yen, a record high for a half-year period, a private research company said July 14.

The amount was driven up by the failures of three nonbank financial institutions affiliated with Nippon Credit Bank, which has conducted radical restructuring after falling into financial uncertainty, according to Teikoku Databank. Another research company, Tokyo Shoko Research, revealed similar figures on the day, saying the combined liabilities for the same period reached 6.33 trillion yen.

The amount of combined debts of failed firms increased 30 percent from the previous period and was more than double the amount in the corresponding period in the previous year, Teikoku Databank said. Recession-type bankruptcies, marked by sluggish sales and other factors, numbered about 5,000, accounting for a record 64.3 percent of total bankruptcies, it said.

All industries except real estate suffered more bankruptcies than in the same period the previous year, with a 22 percent rise in the construction sector making it the worst. Eight of the 10 biggest failed firms, in terms of amount of liabilities, were nonbank financial institutions, which got stuck with massive amounts of bad loans following the burst of the bubble economy.

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