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Economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka indicated Sunday he understands the need for a possible delay in dividing postal services into several entities.

That is what is supposed to happen by 2007 when the privatization process is to start.

Takenaka made the comments on a TV Asahi news program in reference to concerns raised by Japan Post and the posts ministry that starting the privatization process with fully divided entities would be difficult due to problems related to computer systems.

Japan Post, created in April 2003 as a government-backed corporation, and the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry insist that a quasi-governmental corporation should handle the planned four business areas for a certain period.

The government plans to privatize the postal services from 2007 to 2017 by splitting them into four independent entities for mail delivery, postal savings, life insurance and over-the-counter retail services, and turning Japan Post into a joint-stock company. The entities are to be placed under a holding company.

Commenting on the rehabilitation of Daiei Inc., Takenaka called on the struggling retailer and its main creditor banks to make efforts to restructure in a dramatic and comprehensive manner.

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