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Thursday, 14 February 2013

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Japan women throng stores for Valentines

JAPAN: Japanese women packed out stores on Wednesday to buy Valentine's Day chocolates for all the men in their lives -- partners, friends and bosses -- while the men sat back with nothing expected in return.

The traffic in Japan is all one-way on February 14, with men free to sit back and wait for the boxes of goodies to pour in.

A month from now, Japan celebrates White Day, when men are required to reciprocate with a white gift.

Chocolate has been available in Japan since at least 1797, when it was given to prostitutes by Dutch traders -- the only Europeans allowed a foothold in an otherwise closed country where travelling abroad was punishable by death. Today, more than anywhere else, Japan's $11 billion chocolate business is driven by special days confected by the advertising industry to get cash tills ringing. Fully half that total is spent in February, according to retailers.

AFP

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