CHONGQING, China (Kyodo) Takeshi Niinami, president of Lawson Inc., said Thursday the convenience store chain operator intends to raise the number of its stores in China to as many as 10,000 from some 300 at present over the next 10 years.

The company, currently operating in Shanghai and Chongqing, hopes to expand into seven to 10 more cities, he said, citing Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou as possibilities.

“We hope to sell a lot of candy and other products made by Japanese (food) firms operating in China,” Niinami told a news conference in Chongqing.

His remarks suggested a desire to capitalize on the reputation of Japanese products amid growing public awareness about food safety in China, analysts said.

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