Japanese Leader Vows to Proceed on Postal Reform

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Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi pledged yesterday to implement reform after his Cabinet approved his plan to privatize the nation's postal service.


The government was to submit the postal bills to a special session of parliament yesterday. A vote is expected next month, and the legislation should pass easily, according to news reports. Koizumi said he is determined to pass postal reform bills before the parliament session ends Nov. 1.


The announcement follows snap elections Sept. 11 after Japanese lawmakers rejected legislation to split up and sell the postal service. In that election, Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party won 296 seats in the 480-seat lower house.


Koizumi long has sought to privatize the postal service's savings and insurance businesses and open their $2.9 trillion in deposits to private investors. The legislative package privatizes Japan Post, dividing it into private companies handling mail delivery, banking and insurance.


The contents of the bills are essentially the same as those that were rejected previously, except for a six-month delay in the target date for privatization, which was originally 2017.


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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