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Apple planning new store in heart of Tokyo

Tokyo-based Apple lovers may soon have a new playground. According to Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based company will open its first Japanese retail store in eight years.

Set to open in Tokyo's upscale Omotesando shopping district in March, the new brick-and-mortar location will mark Cupertino's first opening in the city since August 2005.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the company's website suggested a big push for Japanese retail positions. OThis week, it listed about a dozen new jobs at "various" locations in the city.

While Apple has yet to officially reveal plans for its upcoming retail store, a construction sign at the reported site suggests that Tokyo-based architectural firm Jun Mitsui & Associates Inc. will be in charge of the project. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Citing the construction board posted at the Tokyo site, Bloomberg reported that the new Apple Store will have three levels, including two underground, and a total floor area of 20,109 square feet.

There is no word on how much space the outlet will occupy, nor how much the project will cost, though the news site suggested that prime retail space in the city runs at an average $864 (£557) per square foot.

Apple currently has seven stores in Japan, two of which are in Tokyo. There are also locations in Hokkaido, Osaka, Miyagi, Aichi, and Fukuoka.

The report coincides with another story from Bloomberg, which said that Japan's NTT DoCoMo, the country's largest carrier, might start offering the iPhone.

Meanwhile, Apple is prepping another big change: unveiling the next edition of its iPhone, expected at a major press event on 10 September.