Burger King Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BKC) on Friday announced that it had signed an exclusive agreement with Burger King Japan Co. Ltd paving the way for the first store to be open in the first half of 2007.

Burger King Japan Co. Ltd is a joint venture between Lotte Co. Ltd and Revamp Corp. This is not the first franchise agreement in Japan. Previously, Burger King made a similar arrangement with Japan Tobacco Inc. which ended in 2001.

“Japan presents significant opportunities for Burger King and is important to our international development strategy,” said John Chidsey, CEO of Burger King Corporation. “We believe this is the right time for the Burger King brand to enter this market.”

The Lotte Group, which includes Lotte Co. Ltd., is a large international conglomerate that employs more than 60,000 people in more than 60 business units. Revamp Corporation is a management consulting firm.

Burger King’s shares closed down 64 cents or 3.04 percent to $20.40 on in Friday trading on the New York Exchange.