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The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan fell 15.4 percent in August from a year earlier to 1,321, Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Friday.

This marks the eighth consecutive monthly decline, according to Teikoku Databank.

The figure, the lowest of the year on a monthly basis, is below 1,400 for the third straight month, with the latest data showing another clear sign of a downtrend in corporate failures, the credit research firm said.

Teikoku Databank attributed the decline primarily to risk-averse business strategies adopted by a number of companies, along with an improved public sector financing system that helped prevent struggling firms from going under.

Combined debts left by the failed companies stood at 1.17 trillion yen, marking an increase of 10.8 percent from a year before and the second highest figure for August since World War II, according to Teikoku Databank.

The credit research firm’s report covers failures involving liabilities of 10 million yen or more.

Teikoku Databank said these debts had ballooned due to the large-scale bankruptcies of two golf course operators — Tokyowan Kanko K.K. and Ryokuei Kaihatsu K.K. — during the month.

Tokyowan Kanko left liabilities of 129.6 billion yen, while Ryokuei Kaihatsu left liabilities of 120.9 billion yen.

Of the August total, 1,032 firms collapsed due to recession-linked factors, including poor sales and inflated bad loans.

Failures resulting from these factors made up 78 percent of the total.

The number of bankruptcies in the manufacturing sector dropped by 77 from a year earlier to 206. The number fell by 66 in the Kinki region and by 54 in the Kanto region.

Crosswave Communications Inc. was the only listed firm to go under.

Failures of companies that had been in business for 30 years or longer numbered 333, accounting for 25.2 percent of the total.

“There are still several factors suggesting that the number of corporate failures may take an upturn anytime soon,” Teikoku Databank said, referring to the fact that large-scale corporate failures remained at high levels in August.