Postal ministry pounds privatization plan

The Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, as expected, came out June 4 against the idea of privatizing postal services , postal deposits and insurance in its response to the government’s blue-ribbon panel on administrative reform.

In a lengthy written rebuttal released June 4, the ministry said privatization would make it impossible for people living in remote areas to receive adequate services. While each of 3,232 communities across the nation has one or more post office, there are 554 cities, towns and villages that do not have private banks, the ministry said. It also said there are 1,852 cities, towns and villages that do not have private insurance companies. The ministry went on to say that postage for mail from and to remote areas would become higher than mail within city areas if the postal service is privatized.

The paper was submitted to the Administrative Reform Council, which has been conducting hearings on each ministry to draw up a plan this November to streamline the government. The council is chaired by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.