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郵便局

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郵便局

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 08.08.2005 4:34 pm

I was just curious what everyone things about the situation developing over the privatization of the Post Office. Now that there are elections set for Sept. 11th, do those of you "in-the-know" think the LDP will retain its leadership, or do you see them losing control? Will reform of the post office ever happen? All that money might be put to use in ways that might really put an end to the stagnant economy. Anyway, what do you guys think?
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Spaztick » Tue 08.09.2005 8:33 am

I'm not totally sure of the politics behind the whole thing, but history shows that privatizing businesses, rights, property, etc. has always been better:

When something is public, it isn't taken care of because a lot of people have the idea that "someone else" will either maintain or regulate it.

When it's privatized, someone owns it and therefore is obliged to take care and upkeep it.

A good example (which isn't at all original, I got this from a reporter) is the elephant hunting in some of Africa. The natives that sold hunting rights to hunters get a source of income, and since you can hunt without breaking the law (I'm guessing) it's regulated and the elephants aren't at risk to becoming endangered.

On the other hand, there are some countries that forbid any elephant hunting at all, so nobody hunts. Supposedly, becuase elephant populations are low in those countries.

There were a few other examples, but I'm sure we could do without. In short, I guess I was just saying yea I agree, they should privatize the Post Office.
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 08.09.2005 8:46 am

You're ignoring the main problem with this particular privatization. Namely, that there are lots of branches in remote areas that are very convenient for the populations there, however not profitable. If the Post is privatized, these branches will be closed, meaning that lots of Japanese will have to drive an hour just to get to the nearest post office instead of the 15 minutes or so that they are accustomed to. And the people living in these smaller villages tend to be older people, which complicates the problem further.
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Shibakoen » Wed 08.10.2005 11:28 am

Spaztick, there's a name for what you were describing. It's called the Tragedy of the Commons.

As far as the problem that Schattenjedi points out, that's definitely a concern. I was under the impression, though, that one of the main objectives of the reform was to disentangle the Postal Savings and Insurance arm away from the package delivery service. How entrenched are companies like DHL in rural areas? I have no doubts that there would be some closures, but I don't think they would be able to totally isolate anyone even in the smaller towns from basic services. They will probably consolodate, but if the postal service were to close offices to the extent that people would have to travel that far, it would just open those areas to competition. I mean it wouldn't cost DHL or another delivery service that much to open a small operation if that meant a virtual monopoly in rural areas. Further, some intrepid entrepreneur could open his own service delivering things to the next city. Just a small anecdote that has some relevance... In some villages in Africa they don't have the infrastructure to bring in phones and the villagers themselves have very little money. But that hasn't stopped business-savvy individuals from getting a cell phone and then renting out usage to people in the village. Let's face it, if there's a need to be met, such as sending mail or packages to a specific place, there will be someone who could take advantage.
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Mukade » Sun 08.14.2005 12:32 am

Schattenjedi wrote:
You're ignoring the main problem with this particular privatization. Namely, that there are lots of branches in remote areas that are very convenient for the populations there, however not profitable. If the Post is privatized, these branches will be closed, meaning that lots of Japanese will have to drive an hour just to get to the nearest post office instead of the 15 minutes or so that they are accustomed to. And the people living in these smaller villages tend to be older people, which complicates the problem further.


Actually, there's a stipulation in the contract designed for the holding company that will own the postal service once it goes private, and that stipulation states that those rural postal services must be maintained. Banking services and "over-the counter" services (such as selling money orders or selling insurance) can be closed down, but everyone is guaranteed the same access to postal service that they have now.

The opposition to the privatization like to try and scare people by saying "you're local branch is going to close!" without making the distinction that the banking services may close, but the postal services will not. Since most of those rural elderly like to stash their cash in their mattress rather than a bank anyway means that there should be little impact felt in the countryside.
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Shibakoen » Tue 08.16.2005 10:46 pm

Good point. I'm really curious about what a private firm would do with the capital they'd gain access to and what would happen to the financial industry. I wouldn't be surprised if Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui, UFJ, and the other banks are the real force behind blocking the legislation. It would probably be much more cost effective to have banking machines rather than bank branches in the rural areas.
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RE: 郵便局

Postby Spaztick » Tue 08.16.2005 11:16 pm

Ah, thanks for giving my post a name. :) I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens, it would be interesting, I'm wondering if a political war will break out (relatively speaking, if it hasn't already happened).
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