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Convenience stores in Japan urged to cut hours with labor tight

Survey finds 60% of franchise owners are short-handed

Many franchise owners of Japanese convenience stores want to halt 24-hour operations.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan will ask four big convenience store chains to consider stepping back from 24-hour operations, as a government survey underscores the severe labor shortages that have left franchisees struggling to staff outlets.

Of the more than 11,000 franchise owners in Japan who responded to a recent survey, 61% are short-handed, and another 34% have enough staff but remain at risk of a shortage if something happens, the economy ministry said. The survey was conducted from December to March and targeted 30,000 owners who work with eight convenience store operators.

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