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| Post Explorer
The pioneer of Japan's first
postal service was Hisoka Maejima, also affectionately known as the "Father
of Post". In the 1870s, stalls selling stamps and mailboxes started
mushrooming along the streets, and postmen started to wear Westernized uniforms,
attracting a great deal of attention from the conservative Japanese of that
On April 20, 1871,
the inaugural relay service between Tokyo and Osaka began. The journey took 3
days and 6 hours, and was run by dark blue happi coat-clad postmen.
The postal service
in Japan is declared a monopoly i.e. no privatized courier company can have the
right to compete with it. International mail services arrived slightly later. In
1875, the first direct route with the United States was developed, and this was
a historic milestone in the development of the Japanese post.
The Japanese postal service has
some very considerate facilities for the disabled. Postage is complimentary for
any Braille material or audio recordings that are sent to the blind by
recognized institutes. This is to ensure that the handicapped in Japan do not
get isolated in terms of communications.
The Japanese postal service delivers about 26 billion pieces of mail annually.
Japan gets its
fair share of earthquakes and heavy snow, hence the postal service has set up
special emergency plans in the event of a national disaster. For instance,
makeshift postal deliverers will be used to run the postal service temporarily.
In addition, postage will be waived for food supplies sent to aid disaster
incredulous speed at which Japan developed had a large strain on the postal
service, which was of utmost importance in maintaining effective communications.
Hence mechanization was soon introduced. Sorting and segregating of mail was to
be done by machines, and an ingenious postal code reader was introduced.
of the Japanese address requires the understanding of the structure of Japan.
Japan is divided into different prefectures, and within each prefecture there
are various towns and cities. As with a Western city, there are also zones
within a Japanese city.