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A subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. announced a joint venture on March 2 to re-open Wendy’s restaurants in Japan.

Wendy’s/Arby’s International Inc. and the Japanese company Higa Industries Co. Ltd. plan to open the first location in Tokyo later this year and then expand throughout the country.

Led by its president and founder Ernest Higa, Higa Industries, a Tokyo-based food importer and distributor, was responsible for operating 180 Domino’s Pizza‘s stores before the business was sold in February 2010.

This joint venture, a first for Wendy’/Arby’s International, demonstrates the company’s commitment to re-enter this market after it failed to renew a franchise agreement in December 2009 and closed 71 restaurants, according to the news release.

“Japan is the second largest quick-service restaurant market in the world and represents a significant growth opportunity for the Wendy’s brand,” said Roland Smith, president and CEO of the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, in the release.

Wendy’s/Arby’s International announced an agreement in Jan. 2011 to open restaurants in Argentina and is currently considering developing restaurants in China and Brazil.

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