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ACLI Sees Some Progress In Japan

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The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has released a Japan Post privatization plan outline about 4 months later than originally expected.[@@]

One section of the outline deals with privatization of Japan Post’s enormous Kampo postal life insurance system.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, has been teaming up with Japanese insurance groups and outside groups for years to ask Japan officials to apply the same regulatory regime to Kampo that it applies to foreign life insurers and private domestic life insurers.

Back in December 2004, when the ACLI and its allies were expecting Koizumi’s cabinet to release a privatization plan outline any day, the ACLI and its allies emphasized that they wanted Japan to establish tax policies, financial reporting policies, product development policies and other policies that would prefer the Kampo life system from increasing its edge over private insurers during the privatization period.

The ACLI and its allies also said they wanted to make sure that Japan will eliminate any special privileges the Kampo life operation now has after privatization is complete.

ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement commenting on the newly released privatization outline that he still has many of the same questions about taxes, subsidies, financial reporting and other matters.

But Keating is praising the fact that Koizumi’s cabinet is including the concept of “equal footing” in the marketplace for financial services in the outline.

“This concept means that the new postal insurance entity will be governed by the same laws and regulations, and under the same regulator, as the private sector,” Keating says in the ACLI statement.


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