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McDonald's not feeling the love in Japan as public loses appetite

TOKYO -- McDonald's decision to consider selling a chunk of its stake in McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) stems from concern about dim prospects for recovery from a protracted slump and a shift that has cost Japan its central role in the U.S. fast-food giant's plans.

     The holding company was established in 1971 as McDonald's Japan, a 50-50 joint venture between McDonald's and Fujita & Co., a trading company run by Den Fujita. An aggressive store-opening strategy spread the chain's convenient hamburgers throughout the country. Customers flocked to the company's low-priced offerings around 2000, when the economy was mired in deflation.

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