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The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan plunged 35.8% from a year before to 477 in April, the smallest figure for the month in the past 50 years, Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. said Thursday.

April marked the 10th straight month of year-on-year drop in business failures. The data covered bankruptcies involving liabilities of ¥10 million or more.

The result reflected the Japanese government’s financing support measures for companies damaged by the novel coronavirus crisis, according to the credit research firm.

Still, the coronavirus crisis is continuing to hit certain industries hard, with the number of bankruptcies remaining high mainly in the restaurant industry.

The number of business failures linked to the epidemic stood at 134 in April, exceeding 100 for the fourth consecutive month since January, when the Japanese government issued its second state of emergency over the coronavirus.

The restaurant industry saw the largest number of business failures tied to the pandemic. Such bankruptcies were also prominent among food makers and sellers, construction firms, apparel companies and hotel operators.

The government’s financial support has been “temporarily helping improve cash flows at coronavirus-hit companies and having a significant effect in curbing overall bankruptcies,” a Tokyo Shoko Research official said.

With the emergency funding measures being in place for over a year, however, some companies are facing excessive debts that cannot be repaid with earnings from their core operations, the official said.

This is “a side effect” of the measures, the official warned, showing concern over a rise in the number of firms that may go bankrupt in the near future.

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