Japan’s postal system

From Japan Today:

Japan’s parliament decided Friday to extend the current Diet session by 55 days until Aug 13 to enable the passage of bills to privatize Japan Post.

This is something Koizumi has been working towards for a long time. It’s nice for him that it’s going to happen before he leaves office next year.

Proponents of privatization here in the US argue that it will improve quality and reduce overhead to run the postal service like a regular business–that the postal service will be better able to compete for customers if it isn’t tied to the government and its bureaucracy. I tend to think that the idea makes sense, but you never really know how something will work out until you try it. It will be interesting to see, therefore, how privatization goes for Japan. Will the proposed benefits become reality? What sorts of problems will they encounter? How might we avoid the same problems?