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Oriental Land May Work With Disney on Shanghai Park

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Oriental Land Co., operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort, said it may cooperate with Walt Disney Co. on a planned Shanghai theme park.

“There’s a possibility we may work together with Disney on Shanghai,” Akiyoshi Yokota, executive director, said in an interview at company headquarters in Chiba prefecture, a Tokyo suburb. No details on cooperation were decided, he said.

Oriental Land has been talking about the planned theme park and exchanging information with Disney, Yokota said, without elaborating. Disney last year won Chinese government approval for a park in Shanghai that may be completed by 2014.

The Japanese theme park operator is looking to expand overseas while trying to attract tourists from China and other countries, as domestic customers spend less amid falling wages. The theme park in Shanghai, the mainland China’s richest city, will be Disney’s fourth outside the U.S.

“It would open up a new growth path for Oriental Land,” Takashi Oka, an analyst at Toward the Infinite World Inc., who has a “neutral” rating on Oriental Land shares. “Oriental Land has know-how to operate a theme park and develop attractions that fit locally.”

Phone messages left at Disney Japan’s Tokyo office were not immediately returned.

Oriental Land gained 0.1 percent to 7,370 yen at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo trading. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 1.9 percent.

The company pays royalties to Burbank, California-based Disney to operate its Disneyland and DisneySea theme parks. Oriental Land’s Disney Resort also includes the Disney Ambassador Hotel and Ikspiari shopping mall.

The Shanghai project will include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the region, Disney said last year.

Oriental Land in May said net income will probably rise 1.6 percent to 25.8 billion yen ($285 million) for the year ending March 31. Sales may decline 4 percent to 356.6 billion yen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net

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