• Staff report

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A special committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday proposed an alternative to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s privatization plan for the nation’s postal services.

In its first analysis paper, the LDP’s special committee on postal reform proposed that the state-backed corporation be kept in its current form and not broken up into three units — mail, savings and insurance — as suggested by the government, to guarantee continued service nationwide.

As an alternative to the government’s idea to change Japan Post into stock companies, the committee pitched what it calls a “public corporation operated by the private sector.” The 63-page paper does not explain the concept.

But committee chief Jin Murai told reporters it could mean that Japan Post would operate with new obligations to pay taxes and without government guarantees on postal savings and insurance.

The paper is certain to fuel government-LDP debate over postal privatization.

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