• Kyodo

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Katsuya Okada, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, indicated Saturday the main opposition party could include lowering the cap on postal savings accounts in its campaign platform for the upcoming House of Representatives election.

Okada told a news conference the DPJ might seek a 7 million yen cap on individual accounts, down from the current 10 million, yen while retaining Japan Post’s status as a public corporation.

The fate of Japan Post is at the center of the Sept. 11 election. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi last week dissolved the Lower House for a snap election after bills to privatize Japan Post, the centerpiece of his reform drive, were voted down by the Upper House.

The DPJ had reportedly been considering not placing too much emphasis on the contentious postal reform issue during campaigning, but Okada’s comments suggest the party may have changed its stance.

Okada told the news conference that if the DPJ takes power after the election, “We will immediately lower (the cap on postal savings) to 7 million yen.”

He also indicated the cap could be cut to as low as 5 million yen later.

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