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Fukushima is the 1st prefecture to restrict inroads of big stores

The Fukushima Prefectural Assembly on October 13 unanimously approved the nation's first ordinance that restricts large-scale retail stores in the prefecture.

The prefectural government will require large retailers to submit plans in advance and provide an explanation about their plans to local governments when they build a store with an area of more than 6,000 square meters. Based on neighboring areas' opinions, the prefecture can advise the retailers to reconsider their plans.

Kamiyama Etsuko, Japanese Communist Party member of the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly, said, "Prefectural residents have long waited for legal restrictions to be imposed on large-scale retail stores. I hope this ordinance will be effective."

Nationally, the large-scale retail stores restriction law was abolished in 2000, and local shopping districts and smaller retail stores have been hollowed out because of the increase of large stores in local cities.

In Fukushima Prefecture, the JCP in cooperation with local grassroots movements opposing the inroads of mega stores has taken up this issue in the prefectural assembly and other local assemblies since an early stage. -- Akahata, October 14, 2005

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