The government will boost the number of people working for the office in charge of privatizing Japan’s postal services to around 80 by late July, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Friday.

It will add 15 employees from the private sector, including those from banks and insurance firms, he said.

The office was launched in April to draw up plans on how to privatize postal services and to prepare the relevant bills.

Working with the new office, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy is scheduled to compile a set of concrete plans for privatization as early as September, after holding extensive discussions over the summer.

The three postal services — mail delivery, postal savings and “kampo” life insurance — are currently handled by Japan Post, a state-backed corporation created in April 2003 to take over from the governmental Postal Services Agency.

The government plans to privatize Japan Post in stages starting in 2007.

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