Cities Look to Ban Late Night Shopping

Cities Look to Ban Late Night Shopping - 24/7 convenience stores face restrictions in Japan?

Citing concerns over global warming, politicians in several large Japanese cities have started talking about banning or harshly regulating convenience stores open late at night, or 24/7. The areas pushing this, with Kyoto, Saitama and Kanagawa mentioned, seem to be looking to burnish their credentials as “model” environmentally friendly cities, whatever the inconvenience and cost to inhabitants and local businesses.

The parties in support of a ban trot out several arguments, chiefly their contention that a nocturnal lifestyle is bad for the environment, and that convenience stores contribute to this issue; they also make references to the “health” of townsfolk and the influence on child upbringing of late night opening. They do make some token talk of compromise with convenience stores, in between exhorting the need for compulsory measures.

Convenience stores are scathing in their response, and actually provide numbers to back up their arguments, more than can be said for the municipalities; according to an industry group (the JFA, an admittedly far from impartial organisation), total (including everything from lighting to deliveries) savings in emissions would amount to a mere 4%. Sales on the other hand might be impacted 20%; they do not mention employment, but that too would be a factor. They also claim that the stores provide late night security and crime prevention to some 7,000 women annually.

A parting shot is fired by someone connected with the industry: “Why should we get the blame when TV and the Internet cause people to be active late at night?” Now there’s an idea…

This via J-Cast.

Local governments with too much time on their hands, or maybe thinking this will enable them to attend a better class of convention? Will they ban people from staying up past sunset next?

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  • Anonymous says:

    Yet I doubt that anyone is going to suggest that factories or logistics are going to stop for the night, and compared to them, late-night supermarkets are completely irrelevant in terms of energy expenditure.

  • …because having the lights & register on after midnight is going to make a difference, when every business with refrigerated goods has a cooling device running 24/7. Damn those people are stupid.

  • I kinda agree with the 2chn guys with the pachinko parlours. They seem to be everywhere and I you get an unpleasant blasting to the eardrums when ya walk by them too xD
    I guess my point is there are surely other places to target before the konbini’s.

  • Global warming?

    What kinda bullshit veiled reason is that? Conveniance stores make little increase in Japan’s CO2 emmissions. Congestion charging Tokyo’s monsterous traffic jams would save much more than this scheme.

    I won’t claim to understand Japanese politics, because I know it follows Asian traditions of democracy – practices that would be seem as corrupt and neopotist in the West.

    • Just follow the money, you can understand most politics that way, irrespective of country. It appears that some of the pushers of these measures are DPJ, and the conbini group pays out to the LDP… There’s probably more to it.
      As a lot of 2chers were saying, they should ban pachinko parlours if they want to reduce energy waste and crime.