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Home >> World
UPDATED: 14:35, October 11, 2005
Japan lower house approves post privatization plan
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A set of bills to privatize Japan Post -- the centerpiece of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform initiative -- passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday and will immediately be sent to the House of Councillors for a vote.

The government had resubmitted the bills, which are almost identical to the ones that were previously voted down, after Koizumi's party achieved a resounding victory in a general election last month with a pledge to push ahead postal privatization.

The governing coalition aims to see the enactment of the set of laws on Friday with a House of Councillors vote.

According to Kyodo News, the bills passed the lower house in a plenary session by 338 to 138 votes as the ruling coalition of Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party now holds more than two-thirds of the seats in the chamber as a result of the election.

The chamber, meanwhile, voted down the alternative postal reform bill proposed by the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

The government bills passed the lower house Special Committee on Postal Privatization, which the coalition also dominates, earlier Tuesday.

Under the legislation, Japan Post would be split into four stock companies on Oct. 1, 2007, and its postal savings and "kampo" life insurance businesses would be fully privatized by Sept. 30,2017, under certain guarantees that they be kept universally available at post offices.

Source: Xinhua

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