The number of corporate bankruptcies in April hit 1,631, climbing 4.4 percent for the first year-on-year rise in two months, a private research institute said Wednesday.

Liabilities climbed 10.8 percent to 1.05 trillion yen, staying above the 1 trillion yen mark for the third month in a row, said Teikoku Databank Ltd., whose report covered bankruptcies with debts of 10 million yen or more.

The debt was the second-largest posted in the month of April since the end of World War II, next to the 2.62 trillion yen left in 1997.

Although there were no gigantic failures, such as those with liabilities over 100 billion yen, the total amount of debt rose substantially because as many as 22 firms went under carrying debts of more than 10 billion yen, including mortgage securities company Daiwa Toshi Kanzai, which owed 48 billion yen at time it folded.

Bankruptcies related to the weak economy, such as stagnant sales and increases in nonperforming credits, totaled 1,200, while the ratio of recession-induced failures to the total came to 73.6 percent, staying above 70 percent for the 21st consecutive month.

The number of failures of established companies in business for 30 years or more came to 402, accounting for 24.6 percent of the total, the second most on record following 25.7 percent marked two months earlier.

For the first time in three months, there were no listed firms that went bankrupt.

By industry, construction bankruptcies fell 5 percent from a year earlier to 460, down for the second month in a row. Failed manufacturers came to 290, up 9.8 percent for the first rise in five months.

There number of wholesalers that went under rose to 313, a 12.6 percent increase that continues a 17-month string of year-on-year rises.

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