Pledge to privatize Japan postal services

Pledge to privatize Japan postal services

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan promised Tuesday to privatize a public corporation running the nation's postal service.

Koizumi told a press conference that the privatization of public corporations in charge of postal services and highway operations will be the focal of a presidential poll within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party slated for Sept. 20.

Privatization of the postal service could open the door for international express companies such as FedEx, United Parcel Service, DHL and TNT to expand their operations in Japan.

Noting that if he is re-elected as president of the LDP, he will then have three more years in office, Koizumi said legislation for postal privatization will be ready by the end of his tenure. Acknowledging that there is opposition within the LDP, Koizumi said, "I want party members to decide if they agree with my plan."

Naoto Kan, leader of the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, dismissed Koizumi's reform pledge. "He has done nothing at all" since he came to power, Kan charged.