Japan to cut adult magazines ahead of Rugby World Cup, Tokyo Olympics

Two of Japan's largest convenience stores will cease stocking adult magazines as they look to clean up their image ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and next year's Tokyo Olympics.

7-Eleven Japan Co. confirmed on Tuesday that they would stop selling adult magazines nationwide by the end of August. Kyodo News reported that Lawson Inc., another major chain, would follow suit.

A spokesman for 7-Eleven said the change had also come about as the demographic of shoppers at their stores altered.

"In the past, 7-Eleven was mostly used by male customers to buy beverages and fast food, and our product assortment was designed accordingly," the chain said in an email to Reuters.

"However, as the role and usage of 7-Eleven stores has changed in recent years, 7-Eleven became an important shopping destination for families, children and elder people as well.

"In order to create a proper shopping environment for all our customers, we decided to stop handling sales of adult magazines.

"We also considered the increasing number of foreign customers during the upcoming Rugby World Cup and the Olympics."

Magazine racks are usually close to the front of Japanese stores and are not covered. Adult magazines are usually mixed in with those of other genres.

Japan will be in the global spotlight over the next two years as they host the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in September, followed by the Summer Olympics starting in July 2020.