Japan Post ran the world's largest postal savings system and was often said to be the largest holder of personal savings in the world: with ¥224 trillion ($2.1 trillion) of household assets in its yū-cho savings accounts and ¥126 trillion ($1.2 trillion) of household assets in its kampo life insurance services, its holdings account for 25 percent of household assets in Japan. Japan Post also held about ¥140 trillion (one fifth) of the Japanese national debt in the form of government bonds.
On October 1, 2007 Japan Post was privatized following fierce political debate that was settled by the 2005 general election. After the privatization, the Japan Post Group companies operate the postal business.
In September 2003, Koizumi's cabinet proposed splitting Japan Post into four separate companies: a bank, an insurance company, a postal service company, and a fourth company to handle the post offices as retail storefronts of the other three. Each of these companies would be privatized in April 2007. In 2005, a bill to complete this reform passed the lower house of the Japanese legislature by a handful of votes, with many people from Koizumi's LDP defecting. The bill was subsequently defeated in the upper house (which cannot be dissolved) because of scores of defections from the ruling coalition. Koizumi immediately dissolved the lower house and scheduled nationwide elections to be held on September 11, 2005. He declared the election to be a referendum on postal privatization. Koizumi subsequently won this election, gaining the necessary supermajority and a mandate for reform, and in October 2005, the bill was passed to privatize Japan Post in 2007.
The symbol of a post office in Japan is a capital letter T with a bar over it, 〒. This is used on the signs of post offices, on post boxes, and it is also sometimes used before the postcode on letters. This mark is derived from the Japanese word "Teishin". The symbol can be obtained by typing yuubin in a Japanese word processor and then converting it. There are several variant forms of this symbol in Unicode, including a form in a circle, 〶, which is the official Geographical Survey Institute of Japan map symbol for a post office.
〠 is a character of Japan Post. Its name is Number-kun. Japan Post released a new character, "Poston", in 1998, so Number-kun is rarely used nowadays.