SAPPORO (Kyodo) Major department store chain Takashimaya Co. presented financially distressed Hokkaido retailer Marui Imai Inc. with its rescue plan Wednesday, Takashimaya officials said.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., the nation’s biggest department store chain, also submitted its own version of the plan later in the day. Marui Imai is expected to choose a sponsor for its rehabilitation efforts this month, at the earliest.

Marui Imai will examine the two retailers’ offers in consultation with its main creditor, Hokkaido Bank, and an investment fund.

Besides its flagship store in Sapporo, Marui Imai runs three other Hokkaido stores, in Hakodate, Asahikawa and Muroran. It has asked both would-be sponsors to let it preserve all four of the stores — a key focus of the rescue plan.

Residents in Hakodate, Asahikawa and Muroran are organizing petition drives to keep the key retail stores in their communities.

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