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Japan's old-style coffee shops unfazed by Starbucks' success

Published Sun, Nov 9, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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Tokyo

ABOVE the converging crowds at the famous Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo glows the unmissable bright green sign of Starbucks, a magnet that pulls in a steady stream of hip, young Japanese.

The American coffee company is so popular in Japan that it recently announced plans to buy out its Japanese partner for US$900 million and take full control of operations in its second-largest market.

However, not everyone is a fan of the customisable drinks and free WiFi on offer at over 1,000 Japanese branches of the global chain, which will soon be found in every prefecture, including the remote, rural Tottori region.

"The way they make (coffee) is totally wrong; it's not tasty," rails Ichiro Sekiguchi, the 100-y…

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