WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The American Council of Life Insurers expressed concern Monday over Japan’s postal privatization outline.

The ACLI asked the government to bar the envisaged postal insurance entity from offering new products until it is placed on “equal footing” with private firms.

“ACLI remains concerned over unsolved questions that are actually key to attaining ‘equal footing’ ” in the marketplace for financial services, the group said.

“It is key that the legislation specify that no new or modified product offerings may be made until ‘equal footing’ is achieved,” it said.

The group also called for securing transparency, saying, “It is essential that there be full disclosure of the accounts of all the postal entities created under the legislation to ensure that subsidies benefiting the new postal insurance entity from within the postal group do not occur.”

Tuesday in Tokyo, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan released a statement saying it “welcomes efforts by the government regarding postal reform in Japan.”

While declining to clarify its “specific position” on whether to privatize a particular public entity, the ACCJ said the current situation “presents a unique opportunity for the government to bring the postal businesses’ regulatory environment into compliance with that of the private sector and international regulatory standards.”

The statements come on the heels of the release Monday of the government’s outline for its postal reform bills.

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