Taco Bell makes a run for Japan's border
wsj.com -- Feb 26
Japan has no shortage of U.S.-style fast-food restaurants, from burgers to pizza, but something that hasn't been on the menu is burritos and quesadillas. That is about to change, however, as Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell is planning to set up shop in the land of sushi and sashimi.

Restaurant chain operator Asrapport Dining Co. said Thursday in a statement it has signed a franchise agreement with the wholly owned unit of Yum! Brands Inc. to open Taco Bell restaurants. It didn't say when the restaurants would open or how many there would be.

The only Taco Bells currently operating in Japan are located on restricted U.S. military bases.

Asrapport, which operates yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurants in Japan, said the move would help it expand its brand portfolio and introduce a new category of fast food into a market where it would meet great demand.

Foreign restaurant chains, such as McDonald's , Krispy Kreme and Subway, are already all well-established in Japan, with still others wanting to get in.

Earlier this month, the New York-based "fast casual" restaurant Shake Shack , known for its burgers and "crinkle-cut" fries, said it would open several restaurants Japan.

Both Burger King and Wendy's pulled out several years ago, only to return more recently. Burger King garnered significant attention in the past couple of years with its all-black hamburger offerings.

News source: wsj.com
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