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Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 201 (August 25-September 8, 2005)
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[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
(Provisional Translation)

*Next issue will be delivered on September 15, 2005.

Prime Minister Junichiro KoizumiProfile Japanese


Privatization of the postal services is at the heart of the reforms


Junichiro Koizumi here.

Summer vacation is nearing its end. How did you all spend your holidays? People everywhere spend their holidays in various ways. I am sure that while some people returned to their family homes for the Obon holiday, others embarked on travel, and others applied themselves to their studies.

Summer vacation is nearing its end. How did you all spend your holidays? People everywhere spend their holidays in various ways. I am sure that while some people returned to their family homes for the Obon holiday, others embarked on travel, and others applied themselves to their studies.

Everyone is in agreement that we must "reduce the number of civil servants."
Everyone also agrees that we must "boldly push forward the administrative and fiscal reforms."
And I think everyone agrees that we must "leave to the private sector what it can do."

Then why is it that opposition arises once it comes to the privatization of the postal services? Why is it that the work of only the post office must be performed by civil servants? Why do they say that the private sector cannot take it on? I am baffled by that.

There are approximately 260,000 full-time national civil servants who work at the post office. If you add the approximately 120,000 part-time civil servants who work a few hours a day, there are approximately 380,000 civil servants in total. Is it really the case that the post office can neither function nor provide services without 380,000 civil servants?

That has never been my way of thinking.

Are not the forces opposing the privatization of the postal services trying to protect the vested interests of the approximately 260,000 civil servants who work at the post office? Are they not trying to maintain the interests of the national civil servants?

I believe that if the work of the post office is handed to the private sector, products and services provided would be much better than those which are now available. Just remember how parcel services came about. Who enabled the nationwide delivery of ice creams and fresh seafood in the middle of scorching summers? Who initiated nighttime delivery service? It was the private sector, not the government.

Even if the private sector handles the services offered by the post office, the network will still be maintained in regional Japan as well as sparsely populated areas. If the postal services are privatized, the companies created would be subject to corporate tax and property tax. If these privatized companies were to sell their shares in the future, the revenue created would come into the national coffers. In this way, privatization would also contribute to Japan's financial rehabilitation.

Postal privatization comprises administrative structural reform, fiscal structural reform, economic structural reform, financial structural reform, and above all, political structural reform. That is precisely why postal privatization is at the "heart of the reforms."

It is only natural that politicians listen to the voices of their supporters. What politicians must not do, however, is to protect only the vested interests of particular groups. Politicians must consider the benefits to the nation as a whole. They must not compromise the good of 120 million people in order to protect the vested interests of a few hundred thousand.

Based on the conviction that we must "reform politics," "achieve economic recovery" and "make effective use of national funds," postal privatization has finally become the biggest issue of contention.

Aiming to effectively use tax revenue, open up the government to let the private sector do as much work as it can take on, create a simple yet efficient government, vitalize the economy and reduce the future tax burden, I will once again stand up to the challenge of privatizing the postal services.

* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.


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[What's up around the Prime Minister]

- Youths from Israel and Palestine Pay a Courtesy Call on Prime Minister (August 18, 2005)
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2005/08/18israel_e.html
Prime Minister Koizumi received a courtesy call from ten Israeli and Palestinian youths who are visiting Japan.

- Prime Minister Attends the Memorial Service for the War Dead (August 15, 2005)
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2005/08/15syuusen_e.html
Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his determination to contribute to world peace and prosperity without ever again waging a war.

- Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (August 15, 2005)
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumispeech/2005/08/15danwa_e.html

- Japan-Pakistan Summit Meeting (August 10, 2005)
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2005/08/10pakistan_e.html
Prime Minister Koizumi held a meeting with Mr. Shaukat Aziz, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiken Sugiura
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan


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