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The internal affairs ministry on Wednesday approved state-owned Japan Post Holdings Co.’s business plan to report falls in both revenue and net profit in fiscal 2010, due to sluggish mail delivery operations.

This is the first ministry approval of Japan Post’s annual business plan since the group’s management was largely reshuffled by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government last October, as part of its efforts to change the nation’s postal privatization plan spearheaded by Junichiro Koizumi when he was prime minister.

According to its business plan for fiscal 2010 starting Thursday, Japan Post aims to report ¥146.2 billion in net profit on operating revenue of ¥313.5 billion, less ambitious than the previous year’s initial targets of ¥156.6 billion and ¥340.0 billion.

When compared with its revised plan for fiscal 2009, approved by the government in July, the net profit projection marks a rise from the revised ¥139.3 billion, but the operating revenue is still expected to fall from ¥325.7 billion.

“We need to win back the people’s right in Japan Post’s operations,” Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi said. “We want (the Japan Post management) to steer the company appropriately.”

The latest approval came a day after Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave the go-ahead for a plan to double the deposit cap at the Japan Post group’s banking unit to ¥20 million per person.

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