Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has sought a court injunction against the former owner of an outlet with which the company terminated its franchise contract late last year, it was learned Wednesday.

The petition was filed with the Osaka District Court on Monday, company sources said.

The move followed the filing, also on Monday, of a petition with the same court by Mitoshi Matsumoto, the former owner, seeking an injunction recognizing his status as the owner of the outlet in the city of Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture.

While Seven-Eleven Japan did not disclose the details of its injunction request, Matsumoto said he had been asked to leave the store.

Seven-Eleven Japan ended its franchise contract with Matsumoto, citing a flurry of customer complaints. Matsumoto had continued operations at the store after the contract was terminated, but he shuttered the store at 5 p.m. Wednesday after selling almost all the products that remained.

Matsumoto said he will not leave the store unless the court orders him to do so.

In February last year, the store shortened its operating hours in a departure from around-the-clock services, without consent from the franchisor, due to a labor shortage.

Seven-Eleven Japan has said that the contract termination had nothing to do with the shorter operating hours at the store.

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