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Based on entirely anecdotal evidence, I highlight low level rumblings I’ve heard on the growth and presence of 7-11, the ubiquitous 24 hour convenience stores.

The perceived problem, more or less, is the impact on local/traditional jobs and, I suspect, incomes. To paraphrase representative sentiments, “How can local noodle sellers compete against 7-11’s cheaper options?“, “Who will buy from my shop (like the one above) when they can sit inside with air conditioning?” and “How can local vendors stay open later than a 24 hour shop?”

Inherent in this is a sense of disappointment at the the loss of the local traditional economic and social architecture, and a communal sense that 7-11 is a harbinger of a not particularly welcome new world that cannot be resisted easily.

Why is this significant? I am unwilling to talk about the politics here, but will merely point out that similar sentiments were the very first, faint stirrings of a political breeze that in Western countries gathered momentum and eventually led to the political hurricanes of Britain exiting the European Union and the election of US President Trump, each leaving deeply divided nation states in their wake.

Readers will need to draw their own conclusions from that.