Over 700 Japanese eateries fail in 2020 amid pandemic

Japan Times -- Apr 11
The number of bankruptcies in Japan’s eatery industry totaled 715 the last fiscal year, the third largest in 20 years, amid the new coronavirus pandemic, a credit research firm said.

The dour result for the year ending March 31 reflects 183 failures in the bar and beer hall sector, the highest since fiscal 2000 when comparative data became available, Teikoku Databank said in a recent survey report on firms that went bankrupt with debts of ¥10 million ($91,000) or more.

The total number follows a record 784 bankruptcies the previous year when the industry struggled with labor shortages and after a consumption tax increase to 10% from 8%, a Teikoku Databank official in charge of the survey said.

In the first eight months, monthly bankruptcy cases mostly rose from a year earlier. But the trend changed in December when they sagged 31.3% as the government’s Go To Travel and Go To Eat subsidy programs to support the tourism and restaurant industries paid off.

Financial aid for restaurants and bars that complied with requests to close by 8 p.m. under the second state of emergency also contributed to reducing business failures in the final few months of the last fiscal year, the official said.

- Japan Times