Tokyo, April 12 : The number of eateries in Japan that went bankrupt in fiscal 2020 stood at 715, the third largest in two decades, local media reported.
The bankruptcies took place largely due to the government's requests for shorter opening hours to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to a survey on firms that went bankrupt with debts of 10 million yen ($91,000) or more.
Teikoku Databank, a credit research firm, said in its survey report issued on Sunday that 183 failures were reported for the bar and beer hall sector, the largest number since fiscal 2000 when comparative data became available, reports Xinhua news agency.
The total figure follows a record 784 bankruptcies the previous year amid labour shortages and a consumption tax hike from 8 per cent to 10 per cent, a Teikoku Databank official in charge of the survey said.
The eatery failures decreased by 36 per cent and 56.3 per cent in January and February, respectively, followed by a 2.6 per cent decline in March.
"It is hard to expect the bankruptcy figure to fall sharply" in the current fiscal year, in light of the continuing requests to shorten operating hour and surging numbers of new cases in Osaka and some other prefectures, the official said.
However, the Covid-19 vaccination drive, stimulus packages and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics slated for this summer should help boost consumer sentiment and improve the business environment in the industry, the official added.