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Japan's 1.2 million heirless businesses at risk of closure

With 'Rolls Royce' of chalk already gone, country could lose key technologies

Chairman Masayuki Okano of hypodermic needle maker Okano Kogyo says his business, though in the black, will close after he retires because he has no successor.

TOKYO -- Some 1.27 million small and midsize businesses in Japan face the risk of closure due to a lack of successors. Already, roughly half the companies that go out of business do so despite being in the black. As more than 60% of SMEs are due to be run by managers aged 70 or older by 2025, the crisis will only intensify.

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