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NTT Communications Corp. President Masanobu Suzuki (left), actor Yuzo Kayama and management consultant Kenichi Ohmae pose for a photo Tuesday. Kayama will be the image character for a new online shopping venture.

EveryD.com Inc., led by management consultant Kenichi Ohmae, said Tuesday it will launch an online shopping site in November in an effort to attract housewives to the Internet by utilizing user-friendly functions.

Next year, the Tokyo-based company will start selling fresh foods online and delivering them to customers by forming franchise networks with several supermarket chain operators.

The online sales of fresh foods will first start in Tokyo in early 2001 and later in Hiroshima. The service will be spread to Japan’s other major cities in fiscal 2002.

In order to free customers from having to tap a keyboard — believed to be an obstacle for many would-be Japanese Internet users — the firm will employ functions that will enable shoppers to place orders using bar code readers and voice recognition technology.

For instance, users will be able to place an order by simply touching a bar code in a catalog with a micro bar code reader connected to a personal computer.

The aim is to bring into the Internet fold the legions of housewives, who, Ohmae said, “are often thought to be the last people to use the Internet.”

The Japan Times is cooperating with the company in designing the system of handling orders, distribution and settlement for overseas shopping sites, which are to be linked to the firm’s site.

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