• Kyodo

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Michitake Moriyama, president of the failed theme park operator Huis Ten Bosch Co., said Thursday he believes the company’s rehabilitation will be completed within two to three years.

The company filed for court protection from creditors Wednesday, with an estimated debt of 228.9 billion yen.

Huis Ten Bosch — a 1.5 million-sq.-meter Dutch theme park and resort facility — will continue to operate, with Mizuho Corporate Bank, the main lender, pledging to offer financing while the operator tries to find sponsors for its rehabilitation.

Moriyama said he has no knowledge of any specific company wanting to step forward as a sponsor.

“I feel sorry for creditors,” he said, “but I feel prospects may open up with fresh capital coming in.”

Moriyama reiterated at a meeting of company employees Thursday morning that he aims to reconstruct the company based on legal procedures.

One employee said after the meeting, “I had seen the number of visitors and sales deteriorate year by year, so I felt as though what (we expected) has come.”

The company has received about 600 inquiries since Wednesday about whether the park is operating and about the status of hotel reservations, but hardly anyone has canceled so far, the company said.

The company said its Web site received a record-high number of hits, exceeding 20,000 on Wednesday.

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