Koji Furukawa, adviser to trading house Mitsubishi Corp., has emerged as the person most likely to head the banking unit of Japan Post when it is privatized in October 2007, although he is not a banker, sources said Wednesday.

Former UFJ Holdings Inc. President Hideo Ogasawara, 67, has turned down the position, the sources said. UFJ Holdings merged with Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group to become the world’s largest bank, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., last year.

The government has found it difficult to get anyone from commercial banking to take the position, which would put him or her in command of a behemoth that is effectively the world’s largest bank and the industry’s biggest potential threat, they said.

Furukawa, 68, served as vice president of the trading company and vice chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and is well-versed in financial and management planning affairs, the sources said.

The postal savings bank would be one of four units owned by holding company Japan Post Corp. when the postal system is privatized.

The holding company is to eventually sell off its entire stake in the bank.

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