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Gateway returns to Japan after three years

In an effort to expand its international presence, the PC maker lines up four new machines to sell.

After three years away from the Japanese market, Gateway is returning to the Asian nation to sell its PCs.

Before withdrawing from international markets in 2001 to focus on its core U.S. business, Gateway sold more than 1.5 million PCs from 1994 to 2001, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based company.

Leveraging the distribution channels of its eMachines brand--Gateway acquired eMachines early this year--the company will offer four new Gateway notebook and desktop PCs through Japanese retailers including Ishimaru Denki, Joshin Denki, Nojima and Tsukumo.

"We're pleased to bring Gateway PCs back to Japan, and we're confident that customers will recognize the brand's superior value," Gateway President and CEO Wayne Inouye said in a statement.

The models selected for the Japanese market include Gateway 3538JP and 4000JP notebooks and Gateway 705JP and 600 series desktops. The notebooks have Intel chips and optional 802.11g wireless standard support.

The 705JP is the first small-form-factor desktop that Gateway is taking to Japan. Its BTX design offers enhanced cooling and noise reduction, Gateway said. The other desktop series--Gateway 600--will be available in early 2005.

Japan is the second market to which Gateway has turned its attention recently. Early last week, the company announced a decision to enter the Mexican market.