Kazuo Wada, Ex-Yaohan Chief, Dies at 90

Economy Society

Tokyo, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)--Kazuo Wada, effective founder and former chairman of collapsed supermarket chain Yaohan Japan, died of old age on Aug. 19, it was learned Thursday. He was 90.

He passed away at his home in Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.

After graduating from Nihon University in 1951, Wada inherited a family-run fruit and vegetable shop in Atami, Shizuoka, and became president of a grocery store, the predecessor of Yaohan, in 1962.

By aggressively opening outlets in and outside Japan, including in many parts of Asia, Wada made Yaohan grow into a major international retail group listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's First Section. In 1995, Yaohan opened in Shanghai what was then the largest department store in Asia.

Though once called the whiz kid of the retail industry, Yaohan, heavily burdened with investment costs, filed for bankruptcy protection in September 1997 under some 160 billion yen in debt.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press