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Osaka duty-free shop nixed as tourist spending ebbs

Doubtful of profits, Lotte Group and airport operator pull plug

Lotte's existing duty free store in Kansai Airport.

OSAKA -- South Korea's Lotte Group and airport operator Kansai Airports have canceled plans to open an airport-style duty-free shop in Osaka this spring, as foreign tourists in Japan wind down their high-end shopping sprees.

Such shops are exempt not only from the consumption tax, but also liquor and tobacco taxes. Japanese citizens leaving the country can also use the stores, picking up purchases at certain airports after clearing departure proceedings.

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