Japan Post Corp. Begins Operations, Privatization on the Way

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Japan Post Corp., a new stock company set up by the public corporation Japan Post, started operations yesterday in preparation for Japan's postal privatization, a 10-year process that begins next year.

Japan Post Corp. becomes a holding company Oct. 1, 2007, and splits into four units under the holding company. The new company will focus on plans to manage 260,000 employees and assets now controlled by Japan Post and study business models for the four units.

Yoshifumi Nishikawa, former president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., was named president of the new company Friday. Former government official Shokichi Takagi and Hiroaki Dan, senior executive vice president of Japan Post, were appointed directors.

The three executives will select executives to run the four operating units, which will be privatized over the next 10 years. The units focus on postal savings, postal insurance, mail delivery and over-the-counter services at post offices nationwide.

At a news conference yesterday, Nishikawa stressed the need for Japan Post to change its ways of financing and investing with privatization in mind, according to news reports. The new company will receive government funding for a certain period even after the privatization process begins, triggering concerns that it could squeeze private financial institutions in competition for new business.

The government plans to decrease its stake in the new company to slightly more than one-third after the privatization process begins next year.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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