Japan Post Holdings’ net profit inched up 1% to 482.6 billion yen ($4 billion) for the term ended March 31. But at mail subsidiary Japan Post Co., net profit fell by half, with its postal and parcels operation suffering its first operating loss in three years.
Japan Post will begin testing support services for the elderly at some post offices from October, with the aim of later expanding the plan nationwide.
The company said on Monday that under the program, postal workers will visit the homes of elderly on a monthly basis to check on their health status, and then report to their relatives.
For a monthly fee of over 10 dollars, Japan Post will also provide 24-hour telephone counseling on medical and other issues.
Post offices in underpopulated areas will likely start operating on an every-other-day basis as early as 2013 as part of efforts to increase efficiency and maintain a nationwide postal network, sources said.
Japan Post Group is considering curtailing the number of open days and office hours of post offices in mountainous regions and sparsely populated areas with a limited number of users, they said.
The group plans to divide remote post offices into groups, each consisting of 10 to 20 locations, and rotate postal officials between several branches.
While the group aims to embark on the plan as early as fiscal 2013, opposition is expected from some local areas.