Postal Lawson, Japan’s first convenience store outlet inside a post office, opened Tuesday at the Yoyogi Post Office in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta and Tsuyoshi Shinnami, president of Lawson Inc., operator of the convenience store chain, attended an opening ceremony Tuesday morning.

“We want to make use of the 24,700 post offices nationwide with innovative ideas,” Ikuta said in a speech at the ceremony.

Japan Post, a public corporation, has been strengthening tieups with the private sector since it took over postal services from the government April 1.

As part of efforts to improve customer service and make more efficient use of post office space, Japan Post has been renting space inside post offices to florists and department stores.

Postal Lawson features facilities where customers can write letters or use their own computers to browse the Internet via the store’s wireless LAN network. The store sells envelopes, postcards and other merchandise related to postal services, in addition to goods sold at other Lawson stores.

The store, which is open 24 hours, sells stamps and accepts parcels outside the post office’s business hours.

Japan Post is set to open a second convenience store inside the Aobadai Post Office in Yokohama on Aug. 26.

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