It's interesting to see the way economic hard times bring out new innovation in people and companies. I read a news report that the convenience store chain Lawson was going to join forces with a popular line of drug stores to allow customers to buy medicine more conveniently. There are many laws that govern how medicine is sold in Japan, and even "over the counter" medicines can only be carried in stores that employs a licensed pharmacist to give advice about this product or that. Under the new plan, there'll be a pharmacist on site at your local convenience store, ready to help answer questions and give basic medical advice -- maybe it will catch on and be the Next Big Thing in convenience stores. I've been through so many economic downturns here in Japan that I'm convinced that Japanese companies are unable to discard their business-as-usual attitudes and innovate at any other time.
Lawson is "Your Town's 'Hot Station.'"