Japan Post-Rakuten Alliance

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In a joint press conference, the Japan Post group and Rakuten announced they that will be entering into a cross-company alliance, broadening an earlier agreement made last December to strengthen the efficiency of both company’s logistic operations.

The two companies are expanding their tie-up to fields of “finance as well as mobile businesses.” This agreement includes a nearly ¥150 billion (US$1.4 billion) investment by Japan Post in exchange for a 8% stake in Rakuten.

The alliance will attempt to create “a synergy through the convergence of online and offline” utilizing Japan Post’s “access to all households in Japan and a nationwide offline network that amounts for 24,000 post offices across Japan” together with “more than 100 million Rakuten members.”

Japan Post and Rakuten will share resources and expertise to ensure better customer service. For its part, Japan Post will be aided by the incorporation of Rakuten digital technologies in order to expedite and modernize postal services across the nation. Rakuten promises to continuously support Japan Post in its digital transformation.

In return Rakuten “will be able to utilize the spaces inside the post offices to have booths there or counters, and also utilizing their delivery network, where [it] will be able to do marketing activity on an offline basis.” These features are aimed at encouraging new customers to sign up for Rakuten mobile services.

In terms of the future, the joint partnership hopes to “co-develop next generation technology as well, AI routing, and optimal inventory management which utilizes data.”

In addition to the aforementioned collaborations, Japan Post and Rakuten will also work together on cashless payments, the insurance field, product sales, and shared data.

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