Today’s lead editorial in the Nikkei is about the post-privatization Japan Post, which quietly began operating yesterday. The information isn’t new, but it’s a good reminder of what’s at stake:
Despite being labeled “privatization,” the changeover will in real terms leave, in October 2007, operations still under state control–the government holds 100% of the stock of the holding company under which the mails, window services, Postal Savings, and Postal Insurance subsidiaries will be arrayed. There’s a real danger that, if while the government’s interest is still strong it will keeps adding new businesses, it will not be in fair competition with private enterprises. When the time comes to investigate the introduction of new business by the privatized corporation, we call on the privatization committee to consider this point thoroughly.
For the gajillionth time, the Nikkei editors also call upon the government to sell off its controlling interest ahead of schedule.