Seven-Eleven Japan Co. is threatening to terminate the franchise contract for a store in Osaka Prefecture after the owner announced plans to close on Sundays due to a shortage of labor, sources said Friday.

On Friday morning, Mitoshi Matsumoto, the owner of the store in the city of Higashiosaka, met with company representatives, who said the plan — set to start next month — violates the franchise contract, the sources said. The firm offered to send staff to keep the store open daily, the sources said.

In response, Matsumoto insisted that franchise store owners should be allowed to decide to shorten operating hours and when to close, the sources said.

In February, the Higashiosaka store closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. without getting the green light from the company, provoking discussions on the wisdom of 24-hour operations at convenience stores amid the nation’s labor crunch.

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