Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has accepted a proposal from a government panel to end Saturday delivery for standard mail in the country due to a labor shortage at Japan Post Co. and a drop in demand because of increased use of the internet.
According to The Japan Times, the ministry will seek to amend the law this fall, with Saturday deliveries potentially terminated next year. The panel also proposed that next-day delivery for standard mail be ended.
Japan Post, a unit of Japan Post Holdings Co., has been calling for a review to trim standard mail service hours to five days a week from the current six, to address the workforce shortage, The Japan Times reports.
The company estimates the changes will lift its profit from the postal service business by ¥62.5bn (US$594m) through reduced labor costs, which are on the rise due to the staffing shortfall.
Saturday delivery for parcels is to remain, along with express and registered mail. The postal service unit is considering a 10% cut in charges for express mail in return for discontinuing Saturday mail service. The panel also proposed extending the standard delivery time limit of three days to four days to maintain stable services.