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2012年5月 2日 (水)

郵政改革 もっと便利で頼れる郵便局に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 1, 2012)
Make post offices more convenient, reliable
郵政改革 もっと便利で頼れる郵便局に(4月30日付・読売社説)

It is important that postal service reform makes post offices more convenient and reliable for customers.
 郵政事業の改革をサービスの向上につなげ、便利で頼れる郵便局にすることが重要だ。

The House of Councillors passed a bill last week to revise the Postal Service Privatization Law and review the reforms undertaken by the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
 小泉政権がスタートさせた郵政民営化制度を見直す改正郵政民営化法が、参院本会議で成立した。

The key point of the review is to make postal services more convenient for customers. Under the revised law, the Japan Post Group will merge Japan Post Service Co. and Japan Post Network Co. to resolve the problem of segmented operations between the two firms.
 改正の柱になっているのは、利便性の向上だ。日本郵政グループは、郵便事業会社と郵便局会社を合併して縦割りを解消する。

The merger will allow delivery people to make deposits on behalf of customers. We hope the merged company will expand its operations so it can meet users' specific needs.
これで配達員も貯金を預かれるようになる。業務の幅を広げ、きめ細かくニーズに対応してほしい。

The revised law also addresses how the Japan Post Group should offer universal services throughout the country.
 全国一律サービスのあり方も課題となる。

In addition to the universal mail services the group is already required to offer, the revised law will oblige it to provide two other basic services--postal savings and insurance--at post offices nationwide. This should ensure that no remote areas will be excluded from its services.
すでに義務づけられている郵便に加え、貯金と保険の基本的なサービスについても、全国の郵便局で提供する責務が課された。「金融過疎地」を生じさせないことが肝心である。

The Japan Post Group will not be able to maintain its network without stable management. The mammoth group, which has more than 200,000 employees, is urged to streamline its operations and reform its management culture, which has been far too dependent on the government.
 ネットワークの維持は、経営の安定があってのことだ。20万人超の巨大グループのムダを徹底的に削り、親方日の丸的な企業体質を改めることが求められよう。

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Enter new fields

It will be difficult, however, for the Japan Post Group to look toward the future, because its operations will continue to dwindle if it only focuses on restructuring. It is important for the group to boost its core businesses.
 リストラだけでは先細りとなって将来展望が開けない。本業のテコ入れが不可欠である。

The volume of mail the group handles has been decreasing by 3 percent to 4 percent each year. The merged company should transform itself into a logistics firm by strengthening home-delivery services, for which demand has been expanding thanks to the increasing popularity of Internet shopping.
 郵便は年3~4%のペースで減っている。ネット通販で需要が拡大する宅配の強化などで、総合物流業への脱皮を図るべきだ。

Moreover, the balance of deposits in the postal savings system has been shrinking, as has the number of postal insurance contracts. Whether Japan Post can increase profits by entering new fields such as cancer insurance and housing loans will be key to turning its fortunes around.
 郵便貯金の残高や簡易保険の契約件数も減っている。巻き返しのカギは、がん保険や住宅ローンなど新規業務へ参入し、収入増を実現できるかどうかである。

The Japan Post Group holds all shares in its two financial arms--Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co. When it finishes disposing of at least half of the two companies' shares, they will be allowed to enter new business fields through the simplified procedure of notifying the government of their intentions, rather than seeking prior approval, according to the revised law.
 日本郵政はゆうちょ銀行とかんぽ生命保険の金融2社の全株式を保有する。それぞれ過半数を手放せば、2社の新規業務が、認可制から届け出制に緩和される。

The Japan Post Group should make steady preparations for listing shares on the stock market to achieve their early sale. To get the two firms' new services on track, moreover, it also must develop personnel who are capable of examining loans, as well as developing and selling insurance products.
 日本郵政は、株式上場に向けた準備を着実に進め、株式の早期処分を目指すべきだ。新規業務を軌道に乗せるため、融資審査や保険商品の開発・販売にあたる人材の育成も欠かせない。

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Ensure fair competition

The revised law sets the complete privatization of Japan Post's two financial arms as a "nonbinding target" rather than an "obligation," as stipulated by the current law. There has been criticism that failure to privatize the two companies will put private-sector businesses at a distinct disadvantage due to government guarantees they can enjoy.
 今回の法改正で、金融2社の完全民営化は「義務」ではなく「努力目標」になった。政府の信用を背景に「民業圧迫」を助長するとの批判が出ている。

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has also expressed concerns that the two firms' expanding services may impede fair competition in Japan's insurance sector.
 米通商代表部(USTR)も、保険分野の公正競争を阻害しかねないと、懸念を示している。

The government and the Japan Post Group should address concerns that its financial services will harm private-sector business activities. They also should make sure that Japan Post reforms do not hurt the nation's bid to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
 政府と日本郵政は、民業圧迫という疑念を払拭する必要がある。郵政改革が、日本の環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)参加の障害になるのは避けねばならない。

The government committee on postal privatization has a heavy responsibility in monitoring the process of privatizing Japan Post's two financial arms. We hope the panel will fulfill its role of ensuring they engage in fair competition with the private sector.
 完全民営化まで金融2社の「お目付け役」を務める郵政民営化委員会の責任は重い。民間との健全な競争が確保されるよう、しっかり役割を果たしてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 30, 2012)
(2012年4月30日01時18分  読売新聞)

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