NU Online News Service, June 12, 1:25 p.m. – Insurance in force at Japan’s 44 life insurers fell 2.1% to 1.31 quadrillion yen last year in a year-on-year comparison, reports Nikkei Interactive, a news portal run by Nihon Keizei, Japan’s major business daily.

Japanese life insurers’ policyholdings have been falling for four consecutive years since 1996 when it reached about 1.58 quadrillion yen.

New policies underwritten in fiscal 2000 rose 2.8%, reversing the downward trend in the past four fiscal years. The rise was fueled by the introduction of new policies by major life insurers, according to Nikkei.

A string of corporate bankruptcies in the country’s life insurance industry last year did not reflect in the figure, the Web portal says. In 2000, five life insurers, Daihyaku Mutual Life Insurance Company, Taisho Life Insurance Company, Chiyoda Mutual Life Insurance Company, Kyoei Life Insurance Company and Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance Company, collapsed.