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Japan’s Post Office to Cut 17,000 Jobs

May 20, 2003

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s recently reorganized post office will cut about 17,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its total work force, over the next two years, an official said Tuesday.

Japan Post will reduce its headcount to 263,000 from 280,000 by the end of March 2005 as part of a business plan to be formally announced Wednesday, said spokeswoman Takumi Niwa. Niwa declined to give details ahead of the announcement.

Japan Post is a public corporation that was formed last month to take over mail delivery and other services formerly provided by the government’s Postal Services Agency. Its mandate calls for it to be run like a business and to compete with private-sector rivals that were allowed to enter the postal industry for the first time last year under a deregulation drive that is one of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s key policy planks.

Five private companies have been granted licenses to carry special-delivery mail since the industry was deregulated last July.