Seven-Eleven Japan Co., the nation's largest convenience store operator, will start opening outlets in Okinawa around fiscal 2019, extending its presence to the only area in Japan without Seven-Eleven stores, the president of the chain said Friday.

President Kazuki Furuya told Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga at the prefectural government office that the company is aiming to set up about 250 stores over the period of five years.

"We are finally ready to open our shops in Okinawa. We hope to create good stores and contribute to Okinawa's economy," Furuya told Onaga.

The governor welcomes the offer, saying, "I feel very happy about it."

The convenience store operator said it plans to open stores mainly in the prefecture's capital Naha, and establish a subsidiary in Okinawa to ensure smooth operation of the new outlets.

"We hope to open up stores that make the lives of Okinawan people rich and convenient," Furuya said at a news conference.

Seven-Eleven Japan opened outlets in Aomori and Tottori prefectures in 2015, leaving Okinawa last among the country's 47 prefectures without its stores.

Rival convenience store operators Lawson Inc. and FamilyMart Co. have already launched outlets in Okinawa.