Japan stores ditch adult mags ahead of Rugby World Cup and Tokyo Olympics | World News

Two of the biggest convenience stores in Japan are to cleanse their shelves of adult magazines as the country prepares to welcome the world for the upcoming Rugby World Cup and Olympic Games.

Both 7-Eleven and Lawson are going to stop stocking the pornographic titles, which are not hidden away on the top shelf of magazine racks as they are in other parts of the world.

The explicit publications are instead uncovered and mixed in among all the other magazines, and they are usually found near the front of stores.

With Japan set to host millions of visitors over the next 18 months for the Rugby World Cup this coming autumn and the summer Olympics in 2020, the two chains have decided to “adjust to international standards”.

Tokyo Olympics mascot Miraitowa and Paralympics mascot Someity will welcome millions of fans to the city in 2020
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Tokyo Olympics mascot Miraitowa and Paralympics mascot Someity will welcome millions of fans to the city in 2020

Some may be disappointed to see the magazines completely disappear from the popular shops, but others have been more accepting of the change in policy.

Chad Kreller, a US national who lives in Japan, said: “I do have young daughters and I wish that porn magazines were a little bit more secretive, like in a better spot, right? I don’t want them to be just out where anybody can see them.

“You know, have a little bit more discrete location instead of just walking in and seeing all the pervs looking at the porn magazines and stuff. So, I am not cool with that.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Twickenham during his recent trip to the UK
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Twickenham during his recent trip to the UK

Taishiro Iwaya, a vet, said: “Seeing the news about stopping the sale of porn magazines at convenience stores, I got to know that Japan is the only developed country allowing the sale of such porn magazines at stores in public.

“Now, I think it is natural to adjust to international standards before the Olympics in 2020.”

But his wife, Fuki Iwaya, said there may be unexpected downsides to the removal of the magazines.

They continue to have a dedicated audience at the 14,000 Lawson stores and 20,000 7-Elevens in Japan, although the latter told Reuters its decision was also driven by changes to the demographic of its customers.

Mrs Iwaya explained: “I do not feel good about the porn magazines in the stores but I think that it is OK if men’s desires are fulfilled by those things.

“I am worried that such desires may trigger crimes, if the stores stop selling porn magazines.”

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