Porn magazines to be scrapped from most Japanese convenience stores before 2020 Olympics, Rugby World Cup

As the spotlight of the world will soon be on Japan for major global sporting events over the next two years, don't expect to see any adult magazines on the shelves of convenience stores.

The three top chains in Japan -- 7-Eleven Japan Co., Lawson Inc., and FamilyMart Co. -- will all stop selling adult magazines nationwide by the end of August in order to clean up their image.

The country is set to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup in September, followed by the Summer Olympics starting in July 2020. The move is aimed to prevent giving a surge of foreign visitors a bad impression of Japan, according to Kyodo News.

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A spokesman for 7-Eleven told Reuters the change had also come about as the demographics of shoppers at their stores also shifted.

Japan's omnipresent convenience stores are preparing to stop selling pornographic magazines before waves of tourists visit the nation for the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup.

Japan's omnipresent convenience stores are preparing to stop selling pornographic magazines before waves of tourists visit the nation for the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

“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 company told the news agency.

“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."

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Convenience stores are big business in Japan, sales in the seven major chains topping $100 billion in 2018, according to Kyodo.

Magazine racks are typically in the front of the stores and not covered, with adult magazines mixed in.

There are about 20,000 7-Eleven stores and 14,000 Lawsons across Japan, with adult magazines accounting for less than 1 percent of total sales, Kyodo News reported.

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Veterinarian Taishiro Iwaya told Reuters he understood the need for change before the 2020 games.

“Seeing news about stopping selling porn magazines at convenience stores, I got to know that Japan is the only developed country allowing to sell such porn magazines at stores in public,” he said. “Now, I think it is natural to adjust to international standards before the Olympics in 2020.”