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McDonald's Japan Is in the Midst of a French Fry Crisis

Thanks to labor disputes.

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It's going to be a bleak holiday season for the deep-fried potato loving residents of Japan. According to Reuters, McDonald's Japan is running out of fries. Apparently a labor dispute on the West Coat of the United States has forced over 3,000 McDonald's Japan locations to "restrict their sales of French fries." The Guardian writes that many outlets announced they will only sell "small-sized portions of fries for the foreseeable future."

Currently, 20,000 dock workers are in a dispute with the shipping companies that employ them at 29 different ports. This means that instead of the frozen fried potatoes reaching Japan in two weeks, they are now arriving in four week intervals. Plus, the country is facing rail service delays, a shortage of equipment to handle cargo, and other obstacles.

Reuters notes that Japan is currently the largest Asian consumer of American grown frozen potato products. The country imported $336 million worth of frozen spuds last year alone. To help ease its spud woes, McDonald's Japan has deployed emergency measures and managed to airlift in 1,000 tons of fries. However, the Verge writes, the company won't be able to get another 1,600 ton shipment until late January, which is bad news for the Japanese.

Luckily they've got everything from blueberry-topped burgers to fondue-drenched sandwiches to tofu nuggets to keep them distracted.

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