Japan 7-Eleven stores ban porn magazines in lead-up to Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics

Japan 7-Eleven stores ban porn magazines in lead-up to Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics

It’s common for countries to clean streets or find accommodation for the homeless ahead of hosting big events, but Japan is cleaning up the porn that lurks on each street corner before sports fans stream in to the country.

Convenience stores are preparing to stop selling pornographic magazines to boost the country’s image ahead of the Rugby World Cup which kicks off in September and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Industry leader 7-Eleven said on Tuesday it would phase out sales of “adult” magazines by the end of August after its rival chain Lawson announced a similar plan on Monday.

The decisions came as Japan’s ubiquitous convenience stores serve more women and families with young children, as well as waves of tourists visiting the country in record numbers.

In Japan, the 24-hour stores do more than sell cigarettes and slushies. They also act as post offices, sell concert tickets and warm meals.

But tourists are often also surprised by the library of porn lurking on the shelves.

The decision by the two major chains follows similar moves by smaller rivals, and “is aimed at avoiding giving a bad impression” to foreigners during the World Cup and Summer Olympics, Kyodo News said.

Seven & i Holdings, which runs 20,700 7-Eleven stores across Japan, including franchise outlets, said the decision was made after reviewing “various opinions”.

Some 5000 stores have never carried or have stopped selling porn, which accounts for less than one per cent of overall sales, said a company spokesman.

“We knew those sporting events are coming in the future, and those were among factors that we considered,” he told AFP, adding that it was not the only reason behind the decision.

Traditionally, customers at 7-Eleven mainly sought to buy things they could eat immediately, like boxed lunches.

— with AFP

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