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Japan: Unmanned stores count on shoppers' honesty

Premium peaches and nectarines filled the shelves of the "F Stand" honor box in front of a cafe in Tokyo's Sugamo district in August. Sold in pairs, the peaches cost $11 and the nectarines were $8. The honor boxes – unattended tills set up for customers to pay for purchases on the honor system – might conjure images of stands in rural areas lined with fresh vegetables and fruit. However, the above example shows how they have been popping up in urban areas, as well.

Customers are able to pay for their items using e-money services by scanning a QR code attached to the stand. F Stand is operated by Makoto Arii, 35, a Yamanashi Prefecture native who gets fruits from farmers in the prefecture and sells them from about five honor boxes in Tokyo. He uses social media to let customers know when he has restocked the stands, which are not kept at the same locations permanently.


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