On April 16, McDonald's Japan announced it would be closing 130 stores this year. Add to this the franchises that don't plan on renewing their contracts, and the number of lost outlets tops 190.

The fast food giant has 3,000 in Japan, so maybe that 190 doesn't sound like much, but when you look at the company's recent performance, it's obviously in trouble: a 14.4 percent annual drop in revenue, putting it ¥38 billion in the red. So far the company hasn't announced which stores will be closed, thus causing anxiety for workers as well as customers in remote areas where, for what it's worth, McDonald's may be the only fast food restaurant available.

The firm plans to turn its fortunes around by remodeling outlets, changing menus and encouraging regular employees to consider early retirement. Some media have been saying that the problem has to do with the bad publicity surrounding the out-of-date chicken McDonald's Japan was buying from a Chinese supplier last summer. As it happens, McDonald's is also not doing well in its home market, the U.S., but the reason there is said to be changing consumer tastes, which now demand "healthier" fare. Japan's drop in sales is markedly greater than it is in the U.S., which is especially surprising considering how well the Japanese arm was doing only a few years ago.