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Amazon Japan launches fresh food delivery service

JIJI

Amazon Japan G.K. started a fresh food delivery service Friday, allowing customers to receive products they buy in as little as four hours after order placements in some cases.

Japan is the third country after the United States and Britain where the “Amazon Fresh” service has been launched. The move is likely to increase competition in the online retail sector.

The new service, provided to “Amazon Prime” subscribers who pay an annual membership fee of ¥3,900, is initially available in six wards in Tokyo — Minato, Chiyoda, Chuo, Koto, Sumida and Edogawa. The service area will be expanded in stages.

The delivery time is between 8 a.m. and midnight.

More than 100,000 food items, including meat, fish and vegetables, are offered for sale by the online shopping service. Deliveries will be made at 4 p.m. at the earliest if orders are placed by noon.

Customers can use the service as many times as they want if they pay an extra ¥500 per month. To encourage people to sign up and use the delivery service, it is available without the ¥500 charge for the first 30 days.

Besides the monthly charge, a delivery fee of ¥500 will be added if an order comes to less than ¥6,000.