The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan rose 6.9 percent in the April-September period from a year earlier to 3,141 for the first increase in three years, according to a survey by a credit research company.

The rise was attributable to difficulties companies experienced in repaying financial aid they had received from the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Shoko Research said.

People walk in Tokyo's Omotesando area on July 30, 2022, wearing face masks amid the continued spread of coronavirus infections. (Kyodo)

A Tokyo Shoko Research official said the company is also seeing rising cases since August of bankruptcies stemming from high raw material prices sparked by the weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies.

The total liabilities left by bankrupt companies surged three times to 1.74 trillion yen ($11.70 billion) in the six-month period, buoyed by Marelli Holdings Co., a major auto parts maker that filed with a court for protection in June under Japan's civil rehabilitation law.

By industry, the transport sector posted 162 bankrupt cases, up 42.1 percent for the first increase in three years, propelled by high fuel prices.

In contrast, the real estate sector logged 104 cases, down 5.4 percent and marking the smallest number in 30 years.

By prefecture, 29, including Hokkaido and Kyoto, saw the number of bankruptcies increase, while 16, including Osaka and Hiroshima, saw the number decrease.

The number in two other prefectures, Shizuoka and Nagasaki, was flat.

In September alone, the number of bankruptcies in the country was up 18.6 percent from a year earlier to 599, according to the research firm.

The total amount in liabilities were 144.87 billion yen.