Japan’s top convenience stores will stop selling se3xu@lly-explicit magazines in consideration of three major international sports events that the country is scheduled to host.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in various locations across Japan from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2, while the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics will find home in Tokyo from July 24 to Aug. 9 and Aug. 25 to Sept. 6, respectively, next year.
The participating stores that include 7-Eleven Japan Co., FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc. announced that they will stop selling such magazines by the end of August, Kyodo News reported.
The change aims to improve their image as foreigners flock to Japan for the events as well as make their stores more comfortable for women and children, officials said.
S3x magazines are a common sight in Japanese convenience stores, where they are stacked with other printed materials on racks or shelves.
7-Eleven, which operates 20,700 outlets, said that it wants “to create a proper shopping environment for all our customers.”
FamilyMart Co., which has 16,000 stores, and Lawson Inc., which has 14,000 stores, made a similar announcement.
“In the past, 7-Eleven was mostly used by male customers to buy beverages and fast food, and our product assortment was designed accordingly,” 7-Eleven told Reuters.
“However, as the role and usage of 7-Eleven stores has changed in recent years, 7-Eleven became an important shopping destination for families, children and elder people as well.”
FamilyMart Co. has already stopped selling rough magazines in 2,000 of its 16,000 outlets. Lawson Inc. implemented a pilot ban in Nov. 2017 in Okinawa Prefecture.
A fourth chain, MiniStop, which operates 2,000 stores, ran a chain-wide ban also in 2017.
Despite the announcement, it’s unclear if all outlets will strictly abide by policy.
For one, 7-Eleven pointed out that it will leave the sale of such magazines to the discretion of individual store managers, according to CNN.