With queuing playing such an important role in Japanese life — just watch any breathlessly excitable TV magazine program fearlessly reporting any day of the week on long lines outside noodle shops or dog groomers — there are even those who cash in on the phenomenon directly.

For the many benriyas (convenience companies) around the country that undertake any legal odd jobs, the business of lining up is now one of their most important sources of income.

Hiroshi Miyauchi, 48, has worked at Tokyo Benriya Jimusho for three years, one of many such companies in the capital.