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Inconvenient truth: Japan stores abandon 24-hour operations

Over 400 shops cut hours in past four months amid labor shortage

Convenience stores like 7-Eleven rely heavily on part-time student workers, but are having a hard time finding them. (Photo courtesy of Seven & i Holdings)

TOKYO -- Japanese convenience stores are starting to shorten their business hours, abandoning the traditional open-all-night model, amid a crippling labor crunch.

In the four months through February, more than 400 outlets with the three major chains -- 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson -- have halted 24-hour operations, according to a Nikkei survey.

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