The Liberal Democratic Party aims to convince the government to expand its control of postal operations even after privatization begins in a bid to ensure uniform services nationwide, according to party sources.

The LDP wants the government to keep some stakes in the companies that will be in charge of postal savings and life insurance services, instead of privatizing them in stages, the sources told Kyodo News.

Under the government plan, Japan Post will be split into four entities in charge of mail delivery, postal savings, postal insurance and over-the-counter services, all under a new holding company, when the 10-year process begins in April 2007.

The holding firm will start as a concern wholly owned by the government. The government will gradually unload shares in the firm during the privatization period but will keep more than one-third of the outstanding shares after that stage.

To maintain government clout over mail delivery and over-the-counter services, the holding company will keep all shares in those entities, according to the government plan.

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