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Japan Post weighs cuts to next-day delivery

Labor shortage forces rethink of fast service that carries no additional charge

Japan Post often delivers letters and postcards traveling relatively short distances the day after they are sent, charging only standard postage. (Photo by Hideyuki Miura)

TOKYO -- Japan Post is considering reducing next-day delivery of standard mail to lighten the load on post offices that face shortages of employees to handle late-night sorting.

The postal service, a unit of Japan Post Holdings, would sharply reduce nighttime staffing, probably cutting back on areas that now enjoy fast delivery of letters and postcards for no additional charge. Premium services such as express mail are likely to remain unaffected.

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