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Japan to finesse cigarette retail system

| June 2, 2014

Japan’s Finance Ministry is expected to change the regulations governing the opening of new cigarette outlets in a bid to avoid “excessive competition” among retailers at a time of falling sales, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun story.

“After seeking public opinion, the ministry plans to introduce the new regulation in August,” the story said.

If the new regulations come into force, they will represent the first change in cigarette shop regulations in 16 years.

Under the current regulations, new cigarette shops may not open within a certain distance of existing outlets.

However, a new outlet may open near an existing shop with only weak cigarette sales, and it is this exception that the ministry is reviewing.

The ministry plans to designate an outlet in an urban area a weak one if it has average sales of fewer than 15,000 cigarettes a month over a six-month period. The current weak-sales threshold is 25,000.

Category: Breaking News

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