6,030 companies went bankrupt in 2021 according to Tokyo Shoko Research, a fall of 22 percent on the previous year but in retail, the number of bankruptcies fell 30 percent to 730.
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These numbers suggest a reprieve following the worst months of Covid and are historically still very low; while peak years such as the mid-1980s and early 2000s saw as many as 20,000 bankruptcies across all sectors, with the previous record low of 4,212 bankruptcies in 1964.
Last year’s result can partly be attributed to the extensive support for SMEs from government and financial institutions after the start of the pandemic.
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