Why hasn't Japan learnt?

Even before 2002 is out, we have seen a few high profile incidences of Japan's resistance to reform. First, Mr. Koizumi's postal reform was watered down in July this year to a mockery of his original idea of breaking up the postal saving bank by focusing on mail delivery. And even there, reforms were unreal.

Under the reformed system, competitors to the post office must set up a daunting minimum of 100,000 post boxes, while the legislation has barred any reduction in the number of state postal branches. Instead of making mail delivery more efficient, the reform bills have created a more costly and inefficient system

Second, the deposit insurance reform, which is essential to...

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