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Founder of Japan's Daiei Supermarkets Dies

KOBE, Japan -- Isao Nakauchi, the founder of Japan's Daiei supermarket chain, who was credited with bringing American-style discount retail methods to that country, died here this week of a stroke at the age of 83, according to published reports.

Founded here in 1957, Daiei two decades later became Japan's largest retailer; but successful imitators and substantial debts tied to haphazard diversification during the 1980s caused it to founder financially. Earlier this year, the company was taken over by a quasi-governmental bailout organization.

The company operates more than 3,000 stores under the Daiei banner and though its subsidiaries, offering electronics, furniture, and clothing in addition to groceries.

Since resigning from Daiei's board in 2002, Nakauchi had ceased to be involved in the company's day-to-day operations. He leaves a wife, two sons, and a daughter.
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