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Japanese convenience store operator Sunkus and Associates Inc. said Wednesday it will set up a joint venture with five other firms from Jan. 31 to operate an e-commerce supermarket.

The new company, e-Convenience Co., will open its Web site and distribution center in March and initiate services in a few Tokyo wards from April 1. It will be expanded to Yokohama next year and other major cities in 2002, company officials said.

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