Competition is heating up in Japan between the Posts Ministry and private sector banks over ATM service hours and fees. Japans Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications requested a 6 billion yen appropriation this morning to expand ATM service to weekends and holidays. The Posts Ministry wants to open nearly 6,000 ATMs or about 30% of its ATM network on weekends and holidays. The move may also force down ATM fees. Japans bank-owned ATMs currently charge 105 yen per transaction after 2pm on Saturdays and on holidays. The Posts Ministry indicated it will hold to its policy of no surcharge for the expanded convenience. Last week the Posts Ministry requested appropriations to link its ATMS with private-sector ATM networks.