• Kyodo

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The number of corporate bankruptcies triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has topped 1,000, according to a credit research agency.

Teikoku Databank Ltd. said the figure is around 3.4 times the number of business failures recorded in the 19-month period following the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit the Kobe area in January 1995.

Liabilities left behind by the companies, which had a total of 16,010 regular workers on their payrolls, stood at around ¥1.23 trillion. Including nonregular workers, the companies are estimated to have employed 24,000 people, private research agency Teikoku Databank said.

“The nationwide decline in consumer confidence and disruptions to distribution channels” resulted in the rise of bankruptcies even in the central and southwestern regions, far from the disaster-hit northeast, an agency official said, adding the impact of the March 2011 disasters is expected to be long term and lead to a further rise in bankruptcies.

By sector, bankruptcies among manufacturers, including food producers, stood at 215, the largest number in the tally, due mainly to supply chain disruptions and concerns about food safety due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

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