Privatization of postal services can't be a 'reform' -- Akahata editorial, July 29 (excerpts)

Four postal services-related bills, which Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro called "the most important task of privatization," have been enacted.

The Koizumi "structural reform" is aimed at building a speculation-oriented society modeled on the United States. As the first step, it calls for a review of public finance with a view to abolishing the safe and secure postal savings and postal life insurance, which would put people's small savings in the risky money market and boost stock prices.

The privatization of postal services will thus open the way for a change of Japan's market into a "casino."

The U.S. economy, which was crazy about financial deregulation and making stock prices the first concern, is now in confusion after the bubble burst. It's the ultimate silliness for Japan to model the U.S. economy which has ended in failure. It will only cause big trouble to Japanese people.

The postal bills issue has spotlighted the true nature of the Koizumi Cabinet, which called for a "change of the Liberal Democratic Party" but has only been devoted to covering up political corruption and evading responsibility.

In the 2001 House of Councilors election, the Kinki Postal Administration Office, a local branch of the Postal Services Agency in the Kansai region, used administrative connections and resources to help an LDP candidate win the election. Since this scandal was made public, people have called for an investigation into this dark side of the LDP concerning vote-buying.

Prime Minister Koizumi has said that such scandals can be ended after the postal services are privatized. But far from helping change the corrupt structure of connecting money with votes, the adopted four bills will only give more benefits to the LDP Dietmembers who lobby on behalf of special interests and in turn benefit from their effort. The prime minister is again deceiving the public.

He argues that privatization will improve the efficiency of services and eliminate corruption. This is false. Privatization will actually free the LDP from the Diet's and people's eyes, and allow it to use public money for speculation to gain profits.

Prime Minister Koizumi calls the four postal services bills as his "favorite reform." This "favorite" will guarantee new benefits for major banks and increased profits for the LDP. The Koizumi Cabinet is not at all a "reformist" group, but a group for maintaining the LDP's vested interests. (end)