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Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta on Friday countered Yamato Transport Co.’s criticism that his firm is unfairly expanding its parcel delivery services through a tieup with a convenience store chain.

“The criticism is wrong,” Ikuta said at the Japan Press Club.

The quasi-governmental company cannot afford to unfairly lower prices because it has excess debt, he said.

Legally obliged to provide nationwide services, Japan Post’s mail delivery segment had liabilities exceeding its assets by 551.8 billion yen as of the end of March.

Ikuta said Japan Post used the 26.3 billion yen profit from its parcel services for fiscal 2003 to boost capital.

Its capital-to-asset ratio stood at 1.1 percent, way below that of many stock companies in Japan, according to Ikuta.

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