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Privatization plan wins approval in Lower House

Date Posted: 2005-10-13

A grand plan for overhauling Japan Post scored a major victory this week, only months after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi banked his political career backing it.

Bills which would privatize the massive Japan Post, the largest company in the country, sailed through the House of Representatives on Tuesday, clearing the way for a vote by the House of Councilors, the upper elective body of the Diet. The bills forming the foundation of the Prime Minister’s national reform programs had little difficulty picking up the votes.

Some observers note politicians across the nation seized on the mood of the voters, who strongly cast ballots in September backing Koizumi and ousting from office those who had opposed his earlier plans for reforming the Japan Post. A victory for Koizumi, it sets the stage for the Prime Minister to tackle other controversial issues, including social security.

The bills voted down by the House of Representatives several months ago were virtually identical to those which scored a solid win in this week’s House vote. Koizumi has long maintained that the Japan Post must be put in private hands and scaled down in order for the national government to get a handle on spending.

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