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Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:00 - 11:00

"Have Japan's Convenience Stores Become Black Businesses?"
Yoshifumi Mitsui
Vice-Chair, Japan Association of Convenience Store Franchisees' Union
Toru Takahashi
Chair, Rengo Okayama
Kazuko Nakano
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 "Have Japan's Convenience Stores Become Black Businesses?"

Convenience stores, or konbini, are an integral part of Japanese daily life, offering vital services both in the heart of major cities and in the remote countryside. However, according to some, the working conditions in this familiar institution have become increasingly harsh. Even the owners of some of the stores are complaining that the huge corporations behind the stores gain monster profits while the local franchisees are deceived and kept in a state of permanent dependence.

 But the turning of the tide may have begun. On March 20, the Okayama Prefectural Government recognized 7-11 franchisees (for whom the abuses are said to be most severe) as having sunk to the level of becoming laborers of the Tokyo-based global corporation, and thus in need of the legal protections provided to laborers. This decision was immediately appealed to the central government.

 This press conference explains the convenience store franchisees' David and Goliath struggle, which pits Mom & Pop small business owners against some of the most powerful corporations in Japan.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

Jul 30 14 PC Mitsui Takahashi Nakano 017Jul 30 14 PC Mitsui Takahashi Nakano 022Jul 30 14 PC Mitsui Takahashi Nakano 035

Yoshifumi Mitsui                          Kazuko Nakano                            Toru Takahashi

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