The Large Scale Retail Store Law has been a feature of the Japanese distribution system in one form or another for almost 40 years. It has been viewed by critics as a form of non-tariff barrier and an impediment to imports. Others view the Large Scale Retail Store Law as just another part of a distribution system that fits in, and has served Japanese society well. Reforms planned for the distribution system are likely to benefit Japanese agriculture just as much as foreign suppliers to the Japanese market. ©2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.