Ministry to Seek Convenience Store Steps for Labor Shortage

Economy Politics

Tokyo, March 26 (Jiji Press)--Japan's industry ministry said Tuesday it will ask four major convenience store operators to draw up action plans to address labor shortages and the resulting dissatisfaction of franchise store owners.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko will meet with leaders of the four companies--Seven-Eleven Japan Co., FamilyMart Co., Lawson Inc. <2651> and Ministop Co. <9946>--possibly in early April and ask them to draw up plans by the end of the month.

On Tuesday, the ministry released the results of a questionnaire survey conducted on franchise store owners. According to the survey, those who complained about a shortage of workers increased nearly threefold from the previous survey, which was conducted four years ago.

Complaints also increased about franchise contracts, which basically stipulate around-the-clock operations.

"Franchise store owners' voices are very blunt," Seko said at a press conference the same day. "I want convenience stores to work out action plans as one of the key social infrastructures."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press