January 21, 2005

TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH GEORGE & TONY:

Koizumi repeats postal reform line (REIJI YOSHIDA, 1/22/05, Japan Times)

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated his resolve Friday to split the nation's state-run postal services into four privatized companies -- a plan destined to put the prime minister and his own party on a collision course.

"I will make all-out efforts to realize postal privatization, believing it will open a new door for Japan," Koizumi said in a policy speech before the Diet, which convened the same day.

Koizumi said the separated entities' financial conditions will be publicized as a means of ensuring their independence.

His remarks echoed a basic policy that the government adopted last year, though some Liberal Democratic Party executives had demanded that the wording be watered down, fearing a backlash among many party members opposed to the initiative.

In his speech, Koizumi said postal services should be taken over by four entities: a mail delivery company, a postal savings firm, an insurance group and a company dealing with over-the-counter services.

Some LDP members have sought compromises, floating the notion of splitting the postal services into three entities instead of four.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 8:23 PM
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