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Subscription-based businesses are growing slower in Japan than in other big economies partly due to regulatory barriers, but the number of firms drawn to the model is on the rise as consumers search for personalized and more cost-effective ways to use products that have recurring fees.

While the trend is evident for expensive items, companies are realizing that encouraging the repeated use of their products via subscriptions rather than one-off sales helps build customer relationships and more efficient ways to keep up with market changes, analysts say.

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