JR East and Japan Post Collaborate to Tackle Social Issues, Including Mobile Suica and Japan Post Bank Integration

JR East and Japan Post announced on February 21st that they have signed an agreement to strengthen their cooperation using their networks and assets, aiming to solve social issues through measures such as the integration of Mobile Suica and Japan Post Bank.

Since June 2018, the two companies have been working on initiatives such as the functional cooperation between stations and post offices, and a logistics trial combining the Japan Post’s logistics network with bullet trains, under an agreement to revitalize local and social communities. This new cooperation strengthens the 2018 agreement, aiming to address social challenges like community weakening and labor shortages.

The cooperation focuses on five pillars: “Transforming Post Offices and Stations into Community Hubs,” “Achieving Sustainable Logistics,” “Community Building through Asset Utilization,” “Promoting Regional Industries and Creating New Local Businesses,” and “Supporting Local Life through Digitalization.”

For “Transforming Post Offices and Stations into Community Hubs,” stations such as Emi Station on the Uchibō Line and Sakunami Station on the Senzan Line are leading the way in functional cooperation between post offices and stations, with plans to expand to Awa-Katsuyama Station on the Uchibō Line, Kabasaka Station on the Utsunomiya Line, and Ubara Station on the Sotobō Line, and to eventually incorporate government service functions and JR East’s online medical services.

“Achieving Sustainable Logistics” involves starting a Yu-Pack parcel collection service within the year at multi-functional lockers “Multi E-cube” being set up primarily in the metropolitan area. In the medium to long term, practical application of postal transportation combining passenger trains with the Japan Post’s logistics network is aimed.

In “Community Building through Asset Utilization,” the focus is on urban development enhancing city attractiveness and international competitiveness, beginning with the opening of a new store, “SOZO BOX,” by Japan Post on February 29th in the commercial facility “SEEKBASE AKI-OKA MANUFACTURE” located between Akihabara and Okachimachi stations. The store will offer books and household goods suitable for gifts, aiming to create a culture of gift-giving. Also, further cooperation is planned in the development of the Station Oasis area at the east entrance of Yokohama Station.

“Promoting Regional Industries and Creating New Local Businesses” involves setting up corners and events in post offices and within station premises to handle local merchandise, as well as pushing forward new business creations such as lodging businesses using vacant houses, with the aim of creating jobs and increasing related populations in rural areas.

For “Supporting Local Life through Digitalization,” cooperation will include expanding online medical services at stations and the corresponding collection and delivery of prescription medications, among other areas. Regarding the integration between Mobile Suica and Japan Post Bank, JR East’s President Yuji Fukasawa mentioned, “We are in the process of detailing. It would be convenient if it becomes possible to charge Mobile Suica from a Japan Post Bank account, for example.”

▲JR East President Yuji Fukasawa

This article was generated using automatic translation by GPT-4 API.
The translation may not be accurate.