Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Increased Use of the Internet Blamed for Postal Mail Volume Decrease


According to the Japan Post, mail volume in Japan had decreased by 45% in just over two decades. The volume of domestic standard postal items peaked at 26.2 billion in fiscal 2001, and has declined since that time, with fiscal 2022 at 45% lower that 2001. Apparently more people are using the internet to send and receive messages.

In fiscal 2022, Japan Post had an overal deficit of 2.1 billion yen.  International mail services posted a surplus of 3.5 billion yen, but domestic mail was 24.6 billion in the red. 

The number of mailboxes has also decreased by over 8,000 in the past ten years. A survey conducted by Japan Post in June 2023 found that 43,000 mailboxes handled less that 30 items per month, and further reductions in the number of mailboxes are being considered. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced plans to increase the price of sending a standard size letter from 84 yen to 110 yen, and the price of sending a postcard from 63 yen to 85 yen, starting sometime in the fall of this year. This will be the first price increase since 1994, other than the increase made in line with consumption tax increases. 

While I hate to have to pay more to send something by mail, I understand the reason for the probable increase later this year. How much does it cost to send a letter or postcard where you live?


Toki said...

I live in Japan like you, so the cost of mail is the same as you.
Up until now, stamp prices have only increased by a small amount, so I was surprised by this drastic increase😵
However, I also like writing letters, so I would like to continue to adapt to the changing times by writing letters and using email.

Queeniepatch said...

We might think sending a letter is expensive, but
first of all, what do we get for the money?
Would you deliver a letter by hand if you had to walk 5 km, in the rain and deliver it on time? Would you find the address?

secondly, compare the Japanese postage with other countries, eg Sweden

Domestic mail within Japan 84 yen
Domestic mail within Sweden 263 yen

From Japan to Sweden 140 yen
From Sweden to Japan 527 yen

So if the potage is increased to 110 yen, it is still less than half what you would have to pay in Sweden, the country where everything is focused on collecting taxes!
Another thing to compare is, how fast it is delivered?

In Japan, guaranteed within 3 days (according to the postal law, even for remote islands).
Normally a letter would be delivered the next day, and also on Saturdays.

In Sweden letters are delivered only two or three days a week, and never at the weekend.

Leonore Winterer said...

There were several increases in postage prices over the last years in Germany. When German Post was denied another price increase last year, they just just lowered quality of service - so to get the same delivery time etc as before, you need to pay for premium service now! I think it's very underhanded.

Are letters and parcels handled by different carriers in Japan? While letters are getting rarer, using the internet sure increases the amount of goods people order for delivery, I think!

Jeanie said...

We've had a lot of postage increases. But I think internet has really affected it. (It affects the card-selling business as well!)

kiwikid said...

I want to say too much!! We have had many increases here, the PO complains people are not using the service and then they put the prices up again. It costs $3+ to send a card or postcard from Aus to NZ, local mail is $1.20. I love snail mail so will keep writing letters and sending postcards.