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Japan's FamilyMart To Open in U.S.

TOKYO -- Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. said Tuesday it plans to open 200 stores in the United States over the next four years, with the first ones in California.

According to an Associated Press report, the inaugural U.S. store will open July 20 in West Hollywood, Calif., under the name "Famima," the nickname widely used by Japanese.

It will offer traditional Japanese convenience store staples like "omusubi" rice balls, "bento" box lunches and sushi, as well as U.S. fare like takeout sandwiches, the company said in a statement.

"We would like our American customers to experience a new shopping style," the statement said.

The store will also feature wireless Internet access, an ATM, a copy machine and an eat-in area, it said.

The company said it plans to have three U.S. locations by the end of the year and about 200 by February 2009.

FamilyMart already has about 11,500 stores, including franchises, in Japan and other Asian locations including South Korea, Thailand, China and Taiwan.

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