Japan plans stamp price hike for letters to 110 yen from 84 yen

The Japanese government said Monday it plans to hike the stamp price for standard size letters to 110 yen ($0.77) from 84 yen next fall at the earliest, as postage operations have fallen into the red due to fewer postal deliveries.

In what would be the first postage price rise in 30 years, excluding increases in line with consumption tax hikes, the internal affairs ministry said it also plans to raise the prices for Japan Post's standard postcards from 63 yen to 85 yen.

While the hike to 110 yen is planned for standard-size letters weighing 25 grams or less, for those weighing up to 50 g, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will raise the price to 110 yen from the current 94 yen.

A rise of around 30 percent is planned for nonstandard size postal items, it said.

The ministry will solicit opinions from the public before revising the relevant ordinance, after which Japan Post Co. will formally apply for the postage price changes.

Japan's postage price for letters was raised in 1994 from 62 yen to 80 yen in response to loss-making postal operations and was hiked to 82 yen in 2014 and to 84 yen in 2019, in line with consumption tax hikes.

Japan Post's mail services logged an operating loss of 21.1 billion yen in fiscal 2022, the first red ink since the country's postal services were privatized in 2007, the company said.

The company's loss is expected to expand to 343.9 billion yen in fiscal 2028 without a rise in postage prices amid increased labor and fuel costs, ministry officials said.

© Kyodo News