Chronology of privatization

Staff Report

April 2001 — Junichiro Koizumi wins the LDP presidential race and becomes the nations’s 87th prime minister with privatizing postal services as his main goal.

May 2001 — Koizumi, in his first Diet address, states that postal privatization should be considered once Japan Post is set up as a public corporation.

April 2003 — Japan Post is set up, replacing the Postal Services Agency.

September 2003 — Koizumi calls in a Diet speech for postal privatization to begin in 2007 after related bills are submitted in 2005.

September 2004 — The government formalizes a basic policy for postal privatization without the backing of the LDP.

June 2005 — The Diet session is extended to secure enough time for postal privatization bills.

July 2005 — The bills clear the Lower House by five votes.

August 2005 — The bills are voted down by the Upper House. Koizumi dissolves the Lower House and calls a snap general election.

September 2005 — The LDP wins the election in a landslide.

October 2005 — The postal privatization bills clear the Diet during an extraordinary session.

October 2007 — The privatization process begins.

December 2007 — A bill to freeze the privatization, submitted by Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) and the DPJ, clears the Upper House.

December 2008 — The bill is voted down by the Lower House.

August 2009 — The DPJ agrees to join Kokumin Shinto and the Social Democratic Party in making revision of the postal privatization process a shared policy in the runup to the general election later in the month.

September 2009 — After the DPJ wins the August election in a landslide, Kokumin Shinto’s Shizuka Kamei is appointed minister in charge of postal reform in the Hatoyama Cabinet.

October 2009 — Japan Post President Yoshifumi Nishikawa resigns and is replaced by Jiro Saito, a former finance ministry bureaucrat.

December 2009 — The ruling bloc uses its majority to pass a law to freeze the government’s planned sale of shares in Japan Post Holdings Co. and its banking and insurance units.

February — The government unveils a draft bill proposing a realignment of the Japan Post group into three companies from the current five.

March — The Cabinet accepts a plan to double the postal savings cap to ¥20 million.