• Kyodo

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Corporate bankruptcies in February fell 14.6 percent from a year earlier to 916, the lowest for the month in 23 years, a credit research agency said Monday.

The number has now posted year-on-year declines for 16th months straight as government monitoring of lending to small businesses and banks’ acceptance of small borrowers’ loan rescheduling requests continued to reduce bankruptcies, Tokyo Shoko Research said.

Total liabilities left behind sank 32.4 percent to ¥171.97 billion in the absence of major bankruptcies involving debts of ¥10 billion or more.

The number of failures with debts of ¥1 billion or greater fell to 19 from 28 a year earlier.

Among firms that went bankrupt, Mt. Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange for the bitcoin digital currency, left the largest amount of debt at ¥6.5 billion.

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