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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 06:41 GMT 07:41 UK
Japan Post starts privatisation
Japan Post counter
Japan Post has 400 million banking accounts
Japan has started the privatisation of its postal service, forming the world's largest commercial bank in the process.

Under a 10-year plan, Japan Post is being split into four firms to run its banking and insurance operations, mail deliveries and post offices.

Japan Post's banking unit has 400 million accounts and assets of 349.8 trillion yen ($3 trillion; 1.5 trillion), the world's largest.

The banking and insurance units should float on the stock exchange by 2010.

The privatisation process is the result of reforms started in 2005 by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Japan's government now aims for all four of the new post office companies to be made fully independent by 2017.

It hopes the move will increase competition in the country's banking sector.

Japan begins post office reform
01 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific

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