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Here is the principal reason that Japan Post bought Australia’s Toll Holdings for such an enormous sum, $5.1bn at the dollar-yen exchange rate when the deal completed last year. The acquisition gave Japan Post the expertise required to operate large scale pan-Asia supply chains on behalf of major retailers. In this case it is Japanese giant Aeon, which operates some 3,800 retail outlets, ranging from malls to convenience stores across north- and south-east Asia, and the deal succeeds in expanding Japan Post’s operations outside its home market.

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