Harm of privatizing postal services -- Akahata editorial, May 11 (excerpts)

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, a long-time advocate of privatizing postal services, is now intent on getting a bill enacted in the current Diet session to allow the private sector to enter the postal services.

The Koizumi Cabinet submitted postal services-related bills to the Diet that will allow the entry of for-profit companies in mail delivery services, with a view to establishing a postal services corporation in April 2003.

Market forces to control postal services

Today, there is a guarantee that a postcard with a 50-yen stamp and a sealed letter with a 80-yen stamp will reach their addressees anywhere in the country. This delivery system can only be maintained based on the universal small-fee system. Only a state-run undertaking can do this without having to place priority on making as much profits as possible.

In fact, a major company which had been regarded as a hopeful for entry into a nationwide delivery service has already declared a no-entry. This sheds light on the motive of the profit-making company that their interest is in taking just the cream of business with major cities and major customers.

Prime Minister Koizumi responds to this move by promising further deregulations to lower the hurdles for entering the market. If the postal services turn into a market for profit, depopulated areas and services to meet various needs will be discarded as not profitable.

The real target of privatizing postal services is the dissolving of postal savings and postal insurance so that private companies can take over the business.

Under this program, public services which the people require will be discarded, and new opportunities will be created for large corporations and major banks to make profits.

Keep public services for the public

The prime minister sets to privatize postal services as a main item of his "reform" program. In spite of his saying that the private sector can do a better job than bureaucrats, privatization is to serve the benefit of corporations at the expense of the people. It is the opposite to "the people as key players."

Postal services which the people cannot do without must not be used as tools for the prime minister's politicking. (end)