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Panda Express heading for Japan

US Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express, a staple of mall food courts in California, is about to launch in Japan.

It will be in the hands of I&P Runway Japan, a joint entity set up last year between Panda Express owner Panda Restaurant Group and Chikara no Moto, the restaurant management group behind the tonkotsu ramen chain Ippudo. Originally formed to help Ippudo gain a foothold in the US, the JV is now aiming to open the first Japanese Panda Express before the end of the year.

Other American fast-food chains such as KFC, Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s have had success in Japan, tweaking their menus to suit local tastes.

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