• Kyodo

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The number of business failures in Japan last year fell 10.5 percent from the previous year to a 22-year low of 10,855 as financial institutions flexibly accepted loan rescheduling requests, Tokyo Shoko Research said Tuesday.

Corporate bankruptcies thus declined for the fifth straight year, said the credit research agency that covers bankruptcies with debts of ¥10 million or more.

Liabilities left behind by bankrupt firms in 2013 plunged 27.4 percent to ¥2.78 trillion, the lowest in 23 years, as bankruptcies with small debts were dominant.

Nine of the 10 industrial sectors saw bankruptcies fall in the year. The exception was the financial and insurance industry, where the number of bankruptcies rose 18.9 percent to 69 for the second straight year of increase.

In December alone, the number of corporate bankruptcies dropped 15.7 percent from a year earlier to 750, slipping below 800 for the first time in 22 years and nine months. Liabilities decreased 35.5 percent to ¥1.34 trillion, the lowest for the month in 20 years.

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