Masaharu Ikuta, 1st Head of Pre-Privatization Japan Post, Dies at 88

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Masaharu Ikuta

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Masaharu Ikuta, the first head of Japan Post, a state-run public corporation that preceded Japan’s postal privatization, died of old age at a Tokyo hospital on Nov. 13, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. announced Monday. He was 88.

At the request of then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Ikuta, who had been president and chairman of the shipping company since 1994, became Japan Post’s head when the body was established in April 2003.

Ikuta worked to lay the groundwork for postal privatization, including promoting cost cuts using private-sector methods, until he stepped down in March 2007.