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63% think scrapping Saturday postal deliveries 'inevitable': survey

In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, post office signs are seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Some 63.1 percent of respondents to a survey said that changing the postal system from the current six days a week delivery service to five days "is inevitable," a panel of experts to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications tasked with promoting the revitalization of postal services announced on Feb. 26.

Japan Post Co. has been seeking the discontinuation of standard mail deliveries on Saturdays. The ministry will publicize a draft of the summary of issues in late March and seek public opinion to use as a reference in reviewing the system.

According to the results of the nationwide questionnaire, 19.8 percent said the current six day delivery system "shouldn't be changed," while 17.2 percent said "either choice is fine." Of the people who said change "is inevitable," 74 percent preferred delivery services to stop on Saturdays, far exceeding the 26 percent who preferred a halt to delivery services on "other days of the week."

More than 60 percent of corporate bodies also said a change from the current postal system to five day deliveries "is inevitable."

Postal services are currently conducting next-day deliveries of standard mail to nearby locations. Japan Post is urging a switch to a two-day delivery period in a bid to reduce late-night labor. In regards to this demand, 60.8 percent of individuals said change "is inevitable." While 21.3 percent said the current system "shouldn't be changed," 17.8 percent said "either choice is fine."

The questionnaire was conducted in December and January via the internet and by mail, covering 2,815 people in their 10s through 80s as well as 906 companies across Japan.

(Japanese original by Arimasa Mori, Business News Department)

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