NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Report

has opened its first restaurant in Japan.

The Dublin, Ohio-based company has ambitious plans for its joint venture in the country with Higa Industries, saying it's looking to open 100 locations in the next five years. In the long-term, Wendy's sees the potential to open 700 restaurants in Japan. The first location is in Tokyo.

Shares of Wendy's were unchanged in midday action at $5.36. The stock has gained more than 15% so far in 2011, but Wall Street's sentiment is lukewarm with 12 of the 19 analysts covering the stock at either hold (11) or underperform (1).

Wendy's is getting a rather late start in Japan considering that rival

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

already has about 3,300 restaurants in the country. McDonald's decided to close about 100 restaurants in the country in the first nine months of 2011, according to McDonald's Holdings Japan's third-quarter report.

In McDonald's

November sales report,

the company noted that growth in Asia was led by China and Japan.

The company had an increase of 8.1% in comparable same store sales from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, which topped McDonald's overall global sales increase of 7.4%.

Interested in more on Wendy's? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock

.

--

Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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