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BEST WESTERN ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST HOTEL IN JAPAN; TOKYO MARKS THE FIRST 'KEY' CITY

 PHOENIX, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Boosting its profile in the nation that exports the most travelers to the United States, Best Western announced its first hotel in Japan -- Best Western The Richmond Hotel Tokyo. Landowner Japan Company Ltd., Best Western's affiliate office in Japan, anticipates as many as six hotels in the country by the end of this year.
 Additional Japanese Best Western hotels are expected to open this year in key cities including Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Hiroshima, according to Werner Braum, Best Western's director of international membership development.
 "Within the next five years, we plan to introduce 25 to 30 Best Western hotels throughout Japan, completing a valuable strategic link in our international network of quality accommodations and services," he said.
 According to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Association, Japan ranked first among countries sending travelers to the United States in 1991, ahead of the United Kingdom, Germany and France. As the Japanese become familiar with the Best Western brand in their country, they will choose it more often when visiting America, Braum predicts.
 Centrally located in Tokyo's commercial district, Best Western The Richmond Hotel Tokyo has 118 beautifully appointed guest rooms complete with mini-bars, cable/bi-lingual televisions and separate showers and bathrooms, some with saunas and Jacuzzis. Classically designed Japanese style suites are also available.
 Fitness-minded guests will enjoy the hotel's spacious health club, complete with a 20-meter indoor swimming pool, sun deck, sauna, Jacuzzi and an aerobics studio. The gymnasium is furnished with the latest English-speaking "Powercise" exercise machines.
 Guests who prefer dining in can enjoy a Teppanyaki restaurant, the "Newcastle," as well as a western-style coffee shop and intimate bar. Group facilities include The Richmond Hall, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and accommodating up to 150 persons. Popular French cuisine is featured in The Garden Room and The Royal Salon, ideally suited for meetings and private parties of 10 to 35 persons and frequented by Tokyo's socialites -- including The Crown Prince of Japan.
 For more information and reservations, call a travel agent or Best Western International toll-free at 800-528-1234. In Japan, call toll- free 0120-42-1234.
 -0- 6/29/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Vaughan, director-corporate communications of Best Western, 602-957-5751/


CO: Best Western ST: Arizona IN: LEI SU:

JB-LS -- LA020 -- 6765 06/29/93 14:19 EDT
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Date:Jun 29, 1993
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