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June brings changes

Date Posted: 1998-06-06

Beginning of June also means changes, and not every of them positive.

On the visible side, all civil servants change their uniforms into summer clothes. Department store and merchants start gearing up to the mid-year "otsugen" gift giving season. July is also a mid-year bonus month for many salaried workers which prompts banks to come up with specials sales campaigns to attract the extra yen.

On the negative side, bus fares in the prefecture went up 6.8 percent on average. Likewise, the price of soft drinks also rose 10 percent.

All four major bus companies operating in the prefecture hiked their basic fare inside cities from 190 to 200. The basic fare outside cities went from 130 to 140. According to press reports, many customers were not aware of the rate hikes and argued about it when they found out that they had to pay extra.

The price hike of soft drinks will mainly be felt at vending machines, where a can of soft drink now costs 110 instead of 100. However, vending machine operators estimate that it will take about two weeks to convert the prefecture's 15,000 vending machines to the new price.

The mid-year gift campaigns at all major department stores will start Jun. 15, followed by sales campaigns for the coming "Obon" season.

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