Japan Post Corp. drafted a privatization plan Tuesday that calls for hiring more employees, directly contradicting one of the main reasons for its privatization.

The draft plan, which would start in October 2007, envisions the post office starting credit card and insurance businesses, among others, after it is privatized.

The government set up Japan Post Corp. in January to prepare for the privatization of Japan Post, the public corporation in charge of postal services that will be split into four separate entities on Oct. 1, 2007. The company will then become a holding firm and take control of the four units.

The plan projects that Japan Post Corp. and its four units will need 263,500 employees, or some 6,000 more than that of the current postal system’s workforce.

The projected total consists of 133,000 for a post office network company, 109,000 for a mail services firm, 12,000 for a postal savings bank, 5,500 for an insurance company and 4,000 for Japan Post Corp.

In addition, the number of employees would supposedly rise because the four operating units would each have respective back-office divisions, Japan Post Corp. officials said.

The draft is expected to draw fire for increasing the number of employees. It is likely to undergo major revisions before an outline of the final plan is compiled at the end of July.

The draft also says that one of the four units is to be a postal savings bank that would start handling credit card and personal loan services. The unit would directly run 200 to 250 branches around the nation, including 50 that would lead post offices in selling financial products.

The insurance company would sell health insurance in addition to the postal life insurance products currently available. It would have 80 branches.

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