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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 September 26 - October 2  > Postal services privatized
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2007 September 26 - October 2 [ECONOMY]

Postal services privatized

September 30, 2007
Japan’s postal services will be privatized and divided up on October 1 amid public concerns over degradation of services and closure of many post offices.

Under the umbrella of Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd., four separate companies will provide postal, banking, and insurance services as well as over-the-counter services at post offices.

Postal privatization has been pushed as the main item of the “structural reform” policies by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties that call for a shift from the public to the private sector.

Diet discussions on the bill to privatize postal services revealed the many problems and contradictions that the separation of the three services will bring about. It was also made clear that Japanese and U.S. financial and insurance industries are the masterminds behind the privatization scheme.

The Japanese Communist Party led the effort to confront the “structural reform” policies and reveal that postal privatization will do no good but much harm to the public.

The House of Councilors disapproved the bill as a result. But the then Koizumi cabinet dissolved the House of Representatives for the general election in order to forcibly get it enacted.

Two years after the general election, the LDP and the Komei Party suffered a major defeat in the July House of Councilors election. The result shows voters’ rejection of the “structural reform” policies that have increased social gaps and depressed local economies.

Japan Post Holdings gives a rosy view on the privatization in its ads, saying, “Privatization brings happiness throughout Japan.” However, privatization has already caused various problems, including delays and confusion in mail delivery due to the reorganization of post offices.

As the privatization and division of postal services proceeds, more negative effects on the public will inevitably emerge.
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