DIGITAL PLATFORMS FOR POSTAL SERVICES IN EU AND JAPAN
Keywords:modern postal services, digital postal services, public e-services, e-government, Japan, EU
This paper offers a biased review of digital platforms introduced recently and operated by national posts in several European Union countries. Authors chose the most interesting cases, including those deemed as most successful, those that failed, and the most modern ones. The paper compares diverse European experience with modern solutions introduced by the Japan Post. Methods used for delivering the study included direct interviews with Japan Post officials and systematic review of official documents and announcements by national post operators in European countries covered bin the paper. European Union Member States, and their national postal operators seem to be well ahead of Japan in the way modern technology is utilized in the process of providing traditional (and new) postal services. Paper makes an attempt to show how representative national postal operators benefit from advanced Information and Telecommunication technology and by replacing the manner in which postal services are rendered. There are numerous successful cases of digital platform implementation, like those from Denmark, France, Czech Republic, and Poland, among others. One will find interesting insight into reasons for failed case from Italy among conclusions, at the end of the paper. Environmental issues are also addressed, along with e-government issues. It happens that European Union postal operators optimize their operations with modern technology in the form of digital platforms in a much wider scope than the Japan Post. Japanese organizations deal with extremely challenging geographic conditions. This, in turn, should motivate much more advanced optimization by the means of solutions enabled by digital platforms.