Poll: Factory closures in Japan surge

TOKYO -- The number of factories in Japan that have been shut down or temporarily closed so far this year surged by more than 50 percent from the same period last year, a newspaper poll published Sunday showed.

A total of 187 factories have been closed during Jan. 1-Sept. 30 this year, by 105 companies, as Japan's domestic manufacturing industry continues to struggle, the daily Nihon Keizai financial newspaper said.

Japan's economy has been stagnating for about a decade. While government officials have expressed cautious optimism, they have also warned that the economy could be hit by volatile global markets and a fragile U.S. economic recovery.

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