Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer
Chapter 8: Empirical Analysis of Service Quality in Japan's Small Package Market
8. Empirical analysis of service quality in Japan’s small package market* Shoji Maruyama 1. INTRODUCTION Postal operators in industrialized countries are nowadays facing accelerating competitive pressure with private operators, in addition to the shifting of mail demand to electronic communication. Noteworthy policy decisions were coincidentally made in EU and the United States in 2006. In November, a proposal for amending the current Postal Directive (97/67/EC) was announced by the EU Commission, indicating that exclusive or special rights will not be granted to national postal operators, with the ultimate objective of creating a Europe-wide internal postal market by 2009. In late December, with the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (P.L.109-435) in the US, rate-andweight based reserved areas will also be deﬁned in US postal services, similar to the situation in most European countries. In these areas and countries, however, the fundamental components of the Universal Service Obligation (USO), which describes the minimum service standards to be provided by the postal operator as required by a national regulatory authority, were little modiﬁed, notwithstanding the signiﬁcant progress in competition in recent decades. In Japan, postal reform is scheduled to take place in 2007, four years after the establishment of Japan Post Corporation. Japan Post will be privatized and restructured into one stock-holding company and four business subsidiaries: mail delivery, post oﬃce network, postal bank, and postal life insurance companies. Japan’s postal reform also redeﬁnes the scope of USO with the implementation of privatization. As a...
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