A governmental economic policy-setting panel said Thursday that services offered at post offices should be diversified when they are privatized, according to economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka.

The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy agreed that the privatized entity to take over Japan Post should be given freedom over management, Takenaka said.

“Many panel members said it would be important to increase the number of items that can be offered at the postal service outlets,” he said.

He said specific items to be offered at the outlets were not considered during Thursday’s discussions. But among the options that have been floated are administrative services and financial products developed by private-sector financial institutions.

Thursday’s agreement is part of a plan to privatize the three services of mail delivery, postal savings and “kampo” life insurance services, which the panel will draw up by the fall.

The three services are currently carried out by Japan Post, created last April as a government corporation to take over the services of the Postal Services Agency. The government plans to privatize the entity in 2007.

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