• Jiji

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A revision to the postal law was enacted Friday, allowing Japan Post Co. to scrap Saturday and next-day deliveries of ordinary mail as early as autumn next year.

The bill to amend the postal law was approved at a plenary session of the House of Councilors.

The move reflects a decline in mail volumes and is also aimed at improving post office personnel’s work conditions.

The government had delayed the submission of the bill to the Diet in order to allow the Japan Post Holdings Co. group to prioritize dealing with the issue of irregularities in sales of Kampo postal life insurance products at post offices.

The revised law will reduce the frequency of general mail deliveries from at least six days a week to at least five days a week.

Japan Post will end mail deliveries on Saturdays in addition to Sundays. It will also scrap next-day deliveries of ordinary mail.

By abolishing Saturday and next-day delivery services, Japan Post will be able to reduce some 47,000 Saturday delivery personnel and some 5,600 staff working late-night shifts to sort mail. Those workers are expected to be re-allocated to work during daytime and on weekdays.

After discussing the bill, the general affairs committees of both the House of Representatives and the Upper House adopted a resolution asking the government to instruct and supervise Japan Post toward maintaining employment and achieving equal pay for equal work.

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