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The number of corporate bankruptcies fell 3.1 percent in August from a year earlier to 1,562, down for the first time in two months, Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Friday.

Liabilities left by the failed firms rose 44 percent from a year earlier to 1.059 trillion yen, topping 1 trillion yen for the second straight month, the private credit-research agency said.

The size of the liabilities was the second-largest for August since the war and was made worse by a series of large-scale bankruptcies during the month, including the collapse of Chisan Co. and K.K. Gashu Enterprise.

The bankruptcy data cover failures involving liabilities of 10 million yen or more.

The figures brought the number of corporate bankruptcies in the January-August period this year to 13,248, the third-highest in postwar Japan.

“Bankruptcies caused by the deflation-induced recession are still on the rise,” and the number of corporate failures is expected to surpass 20,000 this year, Teikoku Databank said.

In August, the number of insolvent firms fell in all industry sectors, except the retail and services sectors. Retailing bankruptcies rose 23.5 percent to 252 cases and the number of services sector firms going bust climbed 3.7 percent to 168.

The number of failed construction firms dropped 10.7 percent to 468, while wholesale company failures fell 15.6 percent to 255.

Recession-induced failures or those caused by poor sales and exports, difficulties recovering sales credits and an industry slump numbered 1,205, accounting for 77.1 percent of the total.

Failures of companies that had been in business for 30 years or more numbered 401, accounting for 25.7 percent of the August bankruptcies.

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