Japanese Convenience Stores To End Long Tradition of Selling Porn

The convenience store industry is a major force in Japan, more powerful even than in the United States where the small, 24-hour shops that carry a wide variety of sundries, from magazines to candy bars to beer, seem to dot the landscape from coast to coast. In Japan alone, the leading convenience store chain, 7-11, has almost 21,000 locations serving a population roughly one-third the size of the United States—which is home to fewer than 10,000 7-11 locations nationwide.

There have always been a number of significant differences between convenience stores—called “konbini”—in Japan and in the U.S. Few American chain convenience outlets carry  dried octopus as a snack food, for example. But perhaps the most instantly striking difference for foreign visitors to Japan is that 7-11 and other convenience stores are convenient locations to buy porn.

Japanese convenience stores have a longstanding tradition of making adult magazines and sexually explicit manga, or comic books, readily available for purchase, displayed openly on magazine racks with no real obstacles for browsing by any customer regardless of age. But that tradition is about to come to an end.

As CNN reported on Tuesday, two of Japan’s two three convenience store chains—the aforementioned 7-11 and Lawson’s, which boasts about 14,000 locations—will cease the sale of adult magazines later this year.

The impetus for terminating porn sales, as it turns out, is not a crusade by self-righteous moralists, but a desire to create a “to create a proper shopping environment” that will not alienate an expected influx of foreign tourists ahead of two major global sporting events to be hosted by Japan in the coming two years—the Rugby World Cup in September of  this year, and the summer Olympics to be based in Tokyo during July and August of 2020, Newsweek reported. 

In addition, a spokesperson for 7-11 said that changing demographics of the chain’s customer base contributed to the decision to end porn sales at the stores.

“In the past, 7-11 was mostly used by male customers to buy beverages and fast food, and our product assortment was designed accordingly,” a spokesperson for the company told the news agency Reuters. “However, as the role and usage of 7-11 stores has changed in recent years, 7-11 became an important shopping destination for families, children and elder people as well.”

The second-largest konbini chain in Japan, Family Mart, has already dropped adult magazines from about 2,000 of its 16,000 locations, according to Reuters, and the fourth-ranked chain, MiniStop, eliminated porn in 2017.

Photo By Wikimedia Commons 

Originally published at: https://avn.com/business/articles/legal/japanese-convenience-stores-to-end-long-tradition-of-selling-porn-813073.html

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