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Japan Post said Wednesday it will base charges for its Yu-Pack parcel service on size rather than on weight, effective Friday.

The move represents a de facto bid to compete head-on with private-sector parcel delivery companies.

While private transport companies have already adopted size-based fee systems, Japan Post’s new Yu-Pack fees will be lower than those offered by private-sector competitors.

Compared with the delivery fees of Yamato Transport Co., Japan’s biggest parcel delivery company, the Yu-Pack services will be between 40 yen and 2,220 yen cheaper.

Under Japan Post’s new structure, the delivery fee is determined by combining a parcel’s length, width and thickness, with measurements divided into seven groups, from 60 cm to 170 cm.

Charges are also grouped into eight categories, based on destination.

For a parcel measuring a total of 60 cm, the minimum charge is 600 yen.

Japan Post’s new fee structure also offers a variety of discounts.

There will be a discount of 100 yen per parcel if a customer brings the package to a post office or a handling agent, and of 50 yen if a customer sends a parcel to the same address more than once in a one-year period.

Bigger discounts will be offered for companies that send more than 20,000 parcels a year.

The new fee system is expected to invite strong opposition from private parcel delivery companies fearing that they will lose customers to the Yu-Pack service.

On Tuesday, Yamato sought a court injunction to halt Japan Post’s tieup with convenience store chain operator Lawson Inc. in handling parcels, stressing that Japan Post’s full-fledged entry into the parcel delivery market would be unfair as it receives preferential treatment in taxation and other areas.

At a news conference Wednesday, Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta said that the company is “extremely perplexed” by Yamato’s action.

Ikuta denied that the new fees are unfairly low, as has been claimed by private companies, because they have taken “due profits” into account.

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