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Nov. 2, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on May 16, 2013

Parcel Delivery

Parcel delivery is a private-sector service that delivers small items to your door. First established in Japan, this business now handles 3.4 billion items a year. The roots of the service can be traced back to a 1935 delivery service started by freight companies and what was then known as the Ministry of Railways. Today, the five largest delivery companies have logistics centers in about 9,600 places across Japan. Book a parcel delivery by phone: they'll come to your door to pick the package up, then deliver it almost anywhere in Japan the next day. One parcel delivery company has introduced a new service for senior citizens, combining shopping delivery and a check on the well-being of the buyer.

On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is parcel delivery. With its very precise delivery schedule and a detailed service menu, parcel delivery embodies some of the best aspects of business done the Japanese way.