Even if the ruling coalition wins the upcoming general election and the postal privatization bills are reintroduced to the Diet and enacted, the government may delay the launch of the actual reforms by up to a year, sources said Tuesday.
The six bills to launch postal privatization in April 2007 failed to pass the Diet in early August, and the government has been reviewing them for possible resubmission to the Diet after Sunday’s House of Representatives election.
A clause added to the original bills as a compromise said commencement of privatization could be delayed for six months if new computer systems for the four new entities were not developed in time.
But the government is considering having the new bills stipulate a possible postponement of up to a year from the commencement of privatization, the sources said.
The expanded delay will be attributed to a potential delay in the development of information systems to appease privatization opponents who argued there wasn’t enough time to get ready for the reform, the sources said.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has vowed to have the postal bills approved after the election, but he has also indicated that postponement could be considered.
Japan Post, a public corporation, had planned to complete information systems development to meet the targeted starting date for privatization if the bills were enacted by the end of last June.
But the bills failed after the House of Councilors voted them down after approval by the House of Representatives, prompting Koizumi to dissolve the powerful lower chamber for a general election in a bid to get them passed again.
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