Japanese Bankers Association

Chairman's Comment on Report of the "Committee to Discuss the Future of Three Postal Services"

Today, the "Committee to Discuss the Future of Three Postal Services" initiated by Prime Minister Koizumi released its Report.First, we thank the members of the Committee for their efforts over more than one year since being formed in June 2001.JBA has, in the past, specified problems posed by the Postal Savings and maintained the need for solving them fundamentally. With regard to the Postal Savings after starting as a public corporation, we have consistently asked that the Postal Savings be abolished or privatized after securing a level playing field with other private financial institutions. This approach conforms entirely with the basic policy of Koizumi's structural reform, "Let the private sector handle areas it can."The Report sets forth various perspectives concerning the three postal services after the start of the Corporation, and presents three options including abolishing the Postal Savings, for achieving privatization. We appreciate the report as a starting point for postal services reform.The Report stresses the importance of securing a level playing field with private financial institutions and recommends the abolishing of the government guarantee, implementing the same supervision employed with private financial institutions, and reviewing merits such as tax exemption. We strongly support these suggestions.JBA has consistently maintained that separation of savings from other services and geography-based divisions of entities are necessary to secure a level playing field with private financial institutions in privatizing the Postal Savings. We expect ample deliberation will be given to this point and also involvement of the government in initially funding these entities.We earnestly request that the government immediately schedule and establish steps for fundamental reforms including privatization of the three postal services. This process should consider the meaning of the Report and also that advocated by JBA and other private bodies.