Photo/Illutration Japan Post Co.’s new mailbox set up in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. The right drop can accept a package as thick as 7 centimeters and comes with a cover to prevent theft. (Satoru Eguchi)

Japan Post Co. is setting up unconventional mailboxes with extra-large drops for mailing thick packages, aimed at meeting the growing needs of customers using secondhand shopping apps.

Under the pilot program that began on Oct. 18, the new type of mailboxes will be placed in front of post offices at 15 locations in eight prefectures in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai region.

The new mailbox’s right drop can handle a package 7 centimeters thick while the left drop can accept a parcel up to 3 cm thick.

The right drop comes with a transparent cover to prevent theft by blocking any potential thieves from reaching into the box.

Japan Post said customers will find the novel mailboxes more convenient, as they do not have to go into a post office to send bulky packages and non-standard size mail.

The new service will benefit both customers and post office employees by cutting down on face-to-face service interactions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company said.

But users of door-to-door delivery provided by Japan Post will still need to go to the post office to use the service.

The company will consider setting up more unconventional mailboxes depending on how this pilot program turns out.