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The government will restrict the right of mail delivery staff to strike after postal privatization begins in April 2007, government sources said Monday.

The measure follows concerns by members of the Liberal Democratic Party over possible work stoppages by mail delivery staff, the sources said.

Postal privatization will spell the end to Japan Post workers’ national public servant status, giving them the right to engage in labor disputes.

Under the blueprint for postal privatization drafted by the government in September, Japan Post will be split into four entities in charge of mail delivery, postal savings, postal insurance and post office network management.

Because the unit in charge of mail delivery will be of a public nature, the government is considering imposing restrictions such as requiring staff to give notice before exercising their right to strike, the sources said.

The mail delivery firm will have to continue to offer uniform nationwide service as required by the Universal Postal Convention. It will also be responsible for delivering court documents.

The entity in charge of post office network management is expected to absorb a majority of Japan Post personnel, the sources said.

An estimate shows that up to 180,000 of the current 271,000 Japan Post staff will become employees of the concern, they said.

The firm will serve as a customer service center for mail delivery, postal savings and postal insurance. It will also engage in retailing and offer some administrative services such as issuing residency cards.

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