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Rakuten, Lawson team up on drone deliveries

Japanese internet and e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. and convenience store operator Lawson Inc. on Oct. 6 said they will start a trial initiative in Japan that combines mobile sales through dedicated vehicles and product deliveries via the use of drones.

The service will operate on a trial basis for six months from Lawson's Minamisoma-Odaka store in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, beginning Oct. 31.

According to the companies, they will carry out mobile sales twice a week to the Odaka District via dedicated vehicles. Products such as fried food and other items that cannot be loaded onto the mobile sales vehicles will be shipped by Rakuten Drone delivery.

Rakuten and Lawson said the project intends to improve the shopping environment in the city.