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Ito-Yokado founder was cautious merchant who dared to save 7-Eleven

Masatoshi Ito turned family shop into retail group with $74bn in sales

Ito-Yokado founder Masatoshi Ito in 1996. (Photo obtained by Nikkei)

TOKYO -- Behind Ito-Yokado's improbable rise from a small Tokyo clothing store to a major retail chain was founder Masatoshi Ito, a cautious merchant who could become a risk-taking capitalist when opportunity beckoned.

Ito died Friday at the age of 98.

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