Despite what appears to be firm opposition from the agriculture ministry, American Malls International, a Washington-based developer, seems hopeful of opening a huge shopping mall in Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on June 24, Herbert Miller, chairman of the board of AMI, said his company plans to develop eight regional malls that he said would reach 75 percent to 80 percent of Japanese consumers. “AMI is bringing America’s most successful new value retail and entertainment mall to the great untapped retail and entertainment potential that exist here,” he said.

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