Japan Data

COVID-19-Related Bankruptcies Total 1,770 in Japan in 2021

Economy Society

There were more than twice as many bankruptcies related to COVID-19 in Japan in 2021 as in the previous year.

There were 2,612 bankruptcies in Japan resulting from COVID-19 as of December 29, 2021 (2,426 legal liquidations and 186 business suspensions). A study by Teikoku Databank found that the total of 1,770 bankruptcies in 2021 was 2.1 times more than the 842 bankruptcies in 2020.

Monthly bankruptcies have exceeded 100 for 13 consecutive months since December 2020. Bankruptcies were particularly high in September 2021, at 179, due to the impact from the fifth wave of the pandemic that struck Japan that summer.

By industry, the restaurant sector was the most seriously affected, with 438 bankruptcies, followed by 279 for construction and engineering, 133 for food wholesaling, and 120 for hotels and inns. Among prefectures, Tokyo had the largest number of bankruptcies, at 535, followed by 269 in Osaka, 153 in Kanagawa, 133 in Fukuoka, 126 in Hyōgo, and 107 in Aichi. Tokyo and Osaka alone accounted for 30.8% of all bankruptcies, while Tokyo and its three surrounding prefectures made up 32.0% of the total.

In 2020, many hotels, inns, restaurants, and apparel stores were forced into bankruptcy due to long-term closures or a major drop in the number of customers, but in 2021, the ripple effect spread to the construction and engineering industry that receives orders for the construction or renovation of stores and other facilities. According to Teikoku Databank, pandemic-related bankruptcies are expected to continue at a monthly pace of 100 in 2022, mainly among restaurants and in the construction and engineering industry.

Major Pandemic-Related Bankruptcies by Liabilities

Company (Location) Liabilities
(¥ billion)
Business type
White Bear Family (Kita, Osaka) 27.8 Travel business
AirAsia Japan (Tokoname, Aichi) 21.7 Scheduled air transportation
WBF Hotels & Resorts (Kita, Osaka) 16.0 Resort hotels
JC Service (Minato, Tokyo) 15.3 Solar power generation
Taikō Paper Mfg (Fuji, Shizuoka) 14.0 Paper manufacturing
Renown (Kōtō, Tokyo) 9.4 Apparel
Eternal Amusement (Chiyoda, Tokyo) 8.4 Amusement center operations
WBF Holdings (Kita, Osaka) 7.3 Administrative services for group companies
Eurotec Japan (Shirahama, Wakayama) 7.2 Helicopter wholesaler
Koike (Naka, Nagoya) 6.7 Women’s apparel wholesaler

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

business COVID-19 bankruptcy