Acting quickly to erase differences in the new Cabinet, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Thursday that posts minister Taro Aso “fully supports” his plan to privatize the postal services in April 2007.

The pronouncement came after Aso told the media Wednesday he is skeptical about Koizumi’s privatization timetable and about including the plan in the Liberal Democratic Party’s platform for the general election expected to take place in November.

“I talked with Mr. Aso this morning, and he said he totally supports privatization,” Koizumi said.

Asked if Aso also supports both the timetable and including it on the LDP platform, Koizumi said: “Yes he does. He said he would work hard on them.”

Koizumi had said he would only name to his Cabinet people who support his reform policies.

Later in the day, Koizumi said that no matter who adopts a skeptical position, the privatization of postal services “will absolutely be included in the party’s policy pledges” in light of his victory in the LDP presidential race.

He said the issue will be the biggest point of debate with the Democratic Party of Japan. Aso has long criticized Koizumi’s economic policies, however, and his stance will probably stir debate in the extraordinary Diet session scheduled to convene Friday.

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