Posts minister Taro Aso on Friday lambasted postal privatization plans submitted last year by an advisory group to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

“I thought the proposals were made by people who have never done business before by themselves,” Aso, minister of public management, home affairs, posts and telecommunications, told reporters.

Aso said he does not necessarily reject the idea of privatizing services pertaining to mail delivery, postal savings and “kampo” life insurance.

He stated, however, that there “should be a third way, rather than the advisory group’s proposal.” He declined to elaborate.

The above services are offered at present by Japan Post, a public corporation that took control of the services from the government’s Postal Services Agency in April.

The advisory group unveiled three sets of proposals, including measures to abolish postal savings and kampo life insurance schemes.

Koizumi aims to push ahead with the postal privatization initiative on the basis of the group’s proposals.

On Wednesday, Aso voiced opposition toward the idea of incorporating the postal privatization plan into the Liberal Democratic Party’s campaign pledges for the next House of Representatives election, expected to be held in November.

Aso also voiced doubts over Koizumi’s plans to submit a relevant bill to an ordinary Diet session in 2005, with an eye to privatizing the three postal services in April 2007.

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