According to Tokyo Shoko Research (TSR), over 50,000 companies may be forced into closure or dissolution in 2020. In addition to the aging of proprietors and lack of successors, worsening performance due to the new coronavirus outbreak is another factor in this estimate. Several hundreds of thousands of people may lose their jobs, which would be a severe blow to regional economies. Countermeasures by local governments and financial institutions will be crucial.
Many companies have overcome their lack of cash by using the Japanese government’s interest-free loan system. TSR estimates that the sales of many companies have not recovered to pre-outbreak levels. This may force the businesses to close for lack of operating capital. (Abridged)