National

Privatized Japan Post to be watched over by three agencies

Units of a privatized Japan Post are expected to come under the jurisdiction of three separate government agencies to ensure equal competition with the private sector, government sources said Saturday.

Japan Post is currently under the supervision of the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry.

After the privatization, which is planned to begin in 2007, only the postal business would stay under the ministry’s jurisdiction, they said.

Japan Post’s distribution business, which will be added to its businesses after privatization, is expected to be under the jurisdiction of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, while the saving and life insurance businesses would come under the Financial Services Agency, the sources said.

The three agencies would supervise the various Japan Post businesses under their jurisdiction and make sure regulations will be equal to those governing private companies in terms of competition, they said.

The FSA currently conducts inspections over the postal savings and life insurance businesses of Japan Post on a consignment from the posts ministry. Some experts have said those businesses should be put under the FSA’s jurisdiction, as are other financial institutions.

The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the government’s key economic policy-setting panel, has adopted a draft basic policy for privatizing Japan Post.

It calls for splitting the public corporation’s operations into four independent businesses — mail delivery, postal savings, life insurance and management of over-the-counter services at post offices — and putting them under a holding company.

It says the government should privatize the entity in stages beginning in April 2007 and complete the process by 2017.

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