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Japan Post Should Offer Same Services Nationwide: Pres
02/08/2004 (21:00)

TOKYO (LoveIndonesiaPhilately) - The postal savings and postal insurance arms of Japan Post should be required to maintain uniform services nationwide even after Japan Post is privatized, President Masaharu Ikuta said in a recent interview with The Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

"The postal savings and postal insurance operations have become indispensable to people living in rural areas," Ikuta said, arguing that the privatized entities should be obligated to provide nationwide services.

The nongovernmental members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) have proposed that only the postal mail business be asked to provide the same level of service at the same price across the country. They note that private-sector financial institutions already offer savings and insurance operations nationwide.

As for the structure of the post-privatized entities, Ikuta said he would consider placing them under the auspices of a holding company. But he added that such a move would not take place right away. "While the plan to spin off each arm is worthy of consideration, it will likely be difficult to do so when the privatization process begins in 2007," he said.

Separately, he called for the creation of a structure that would guarantee Japan Post sufficient income to defray the cost of maintaining the same mail service nationwide.

"We need to have a structure that will allow Japan Post to exclusively deliver certain types of letters and postcards," Ikuta said.

He suggested that instead of the existing criteria, which is based on the contents of a letter or package, the privatized postal service should be designated as the official carrier of enveloped mail under a certain weight, as is the case in Europe.

Ikuta is expected to present his slew of proposals at a CEFP meeting on Monday.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Monday morning edition)

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