Seven-Eleven Japan Eyeing Ashtray Removal from Tokyo Outlets

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Leading convenience store operator Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has asked franchise outlets in Tokyo to remove ashtrays installed outside of the stores, it was learned Sunday.

Seven-Eleven Japan, a unit of retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co. <3382>, will decide whether to take the step across Japan after examining the results at the Tokyo outlets, informed sources said.

The move comes as many customers are complaining about passive smoking and an increasing number of restaurants in Japan are introducing a smoking ban, according to the sources.

Seven-Eleven Japan has a total of some 2,700 stores in the Japanese capital, including about 1,000 with ashtrays in front of the shops. The request for ashtray removal was made to the 1,000 stores about a month ago, the sources said.

While the request is not binding since the ashtrays belong to the stores, outlets that agreed have posted written notices to shoppers and will remove ashtrays starting on Monday, according to the sources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press