• Kyodo

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Many small businesses hit by the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan continue to face difficulties in turning around their battered operations, officials at a state body providing financial assistance to them said Tuesday.

The government organization, established in 2012 to take over the debts of disaster-hit businesses from banks, has provided assistance such as debt relief to 744 small businesses to date, but only 21%, or 155 companies, had completed their turnaround as of September, while 24 went under, the officials said.

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