Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew, Paul R. Kleindofer and James I. Campbell Jr
Chapter 20: The Diverse Characteristics of Postal Reforms in Asia: Privatization, Corporatization and Liberalization
* Shoji Maruyama† and Shinichi Sano† 1. INTRODUCTION In the European Union (EU), recent parliamentary approval of the Third Postal Directive (published oﬃcially on February 28, 2008) requires the complete elimination of exclusive rights or reserved areas for the designated postal operators in 2011 or 2013 at the latest. Partly in anticipation of the implementation of the new Directive, European postal operators have undertaken signiﬁcant restructuring initiatives, including in some cases privatization of the public postal operator through initial public oﬀering (IPO). Continued commercialization and corporatization of their activities has been the strategy chosen by postal operators to counter the contraction of ordinary mail volume and the competitive threats posed by entrants. Postal reforms similar to those in the EU, that is, liberalization of the postal market and privatization of the former stateowned postal operator, have also been implemented in Asia, though these have tended to occur under country- rather than region-oriented backgrounds, since there is less political and economic movement toward transnational integration than in Europe. Despite such environmental diﬀerences, however, the traditional mission of maintaining the universal service obligation (USO) continues to be imposed on the incumbent operators. For example, in Japan, the newly established postal operator, Japan Post Service Co., Ltd., created as a result of postal privatization on October 1, 2007, will continue to face virtually the same USO as the former public corporation. Nevertheless, the regulatory authority in Japan recently proposed a new entry-promoting policy including the introduction of an access regime...
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