Taco Bell

Taco Bell to Open First Restaurants in Japan

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In Japan and craving Waffle Tacos? Soon, there will be a solution.

On Thursday, Asrapport Dining Co. announced that it had signed a franchise agreement with Taco Bell to bring the fast-food chain to Japan. This would be the first time that Taco Bell opens up shop outside of U.S. military bases in Japan.

"We believe that 'Taco Bell' holds strong growth potential and will enable us to create a new QSR category by cultivating the strong latent demand for Mexican inspired foods within Japan," Shusaku Higaki, Asrapport Dining's CEO, said in a statement.

Related: 6 Food Trends to Watch Out for in 2015

Currently, Asrapport focuses on pub and barbecue "Izakaya" restaurants, with 429 locations of various franchises open in Japan. The company has not yet announced how many Taco Bell locations it plans to open, or when the restaurants will be open for business.

In December, Taco Bell announced plans to add 1,300 new locations internationally by 2023, a huge boost from its current 250 international locations. Other countries targeted for growth include the U.K., Korea, Chile, Peru and India.

Both of Taco Bell's sister brands, KFC and Pizza Hut, already have locations open in Japan. Hopefully, Taco Bell will follow in the footsteps of Pizza Hut and open a (fictional) restaurant staffed entirely by cats, as the pizza chain memorably did in a Japanese ad campaign.  

Related: Taco Bell Is Hungry for Global Expansion

Edition: December 2016

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