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A difficult path lies ahead the Japan Post group companies’ 10-year privatization process, which started Oct. 1. They have to make profits to survive but not at the expense of services. This is especially critical for the postal service, which has earned the people’s trust over the past 130 years through the quality of its operations.

Under the privatization scheme, Japan Post Corp. serves as a holding company for four units: Yucho Bank, Kampo Insurance, a mail delivery firm and an over-the-counter services firm (the last firm operating post offices). Yucho Bank has assets of ¥188 trillion, nearly twice the assets held by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the nation’s leading bank. Kampo Insurance has assets of more than ¥110 trillion, more than double the assets held by Nippon Life Insurance Co., the nation’s leading insurance firm.

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