Burger behemoth McDonald's has been forced to allow for 130 store closures this year, until the end of December, after the mad cow scare in Japan badly affected sales. A report in the local newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun cited McDonald's as opening another 220 outlets in Japan this year, but said that this figure is down 23% on last year. The sheer number of closures would in any case cast a dark shadow over the firm's seemingly unstoppable growth.