Major convenience store operators are the latest firms to introduce measures to curb food waste as companies step up efforts to address the issue in the country, where 6 million tons of edible products are discarded annually.

However, restaurants and households, which are responsible for some 66 percent of discarded food, are moving more slowly to slash the amount of leftover items. Eateries are concerned they will lose customers if they serve smaller portions, while Japanese consumers tend to prioritize product freshness.

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and Lawson Inc. said Friday they will start discounting rice balls and bento lunchboxes as they near the end of their shelf life. Under the plan, they will offer customers enrolled in the chains' point programs shopping credits worth 5 percent of the purchase price of such items.