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News Japan Post to implement 30% fee increase 1 Oct., first hike in 30 years


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Japan Post Co. will increase postage rates by 30% starting 1 October, marking the first hike in 30 years to return to profitability. Postcard postage will rise to 85 yen (54 cents) from 63 yen, and standard letters (up to 25 grams) will increase from 84 yen to 110 yen. New stamps will be available from 2 September. This is the first simultaneous postage fee increase since 1994, excluding adjustments for consumption tax hikes.

Charges for Letter Pack parcels, express deliveries and non-standard size mail will go up, too. Standard-size letters weighing over 25 grams but under 50 grams that cost 94 yen at present will require a 110-yen stamp from October, the same charge as that for letters weighing 25 grams or less. Charges for specialized class-3 and class-4 mail will remain unchanged. New stamps will include a label featuring a pine tree design available for 85 yen and a plover-based one for 110 yen. Those now priced at 22 yen and 26 yen will also be put on sale to make up the price difference between old and fresh postal fees for postcards and letters. Conventional postcards will be replaced in line with the new rating system. Sales of stamps carrying price tags of 63 yen, 84 yen and 94 yen will cease at the end of September.

According to a government source, Japan Post initially proposed a 50% fee increase due to its mail business operating at a loss. However, facing opposition, they opted to limit the rise to approximately 30%.

Isn't the price of snail mail going up everywhere now that everyone and their grandparents have e-mail? I'm impressed it has managed to stay so low in Jaoan for that long. Where I live, a law was passed a few years ago that all citizens should have an "electronic citizen mailbox" to receive all correspondence from the government - to save paper and ease communication. Perhaps the government was the greatest customer of the postal service because now letters are absolutely unsendable. Up to 100g => $3.6, 100-250g => $7.2, and up to 2kg => $15.5. Letters. Not packages.

I used to send Christmas cards to my extended family, about 10 in total, but I refuse to pay almost $40 for 10 postcards. Now I just write them and hand deliver them when possible (we all live pretty close by). If I lived somewhere with long distances like the US or Japan, it might be another matter.
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