A U.S. company says it has done a reasonably good job of handling claims in Japan over the past 5 years.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has asked life insurers doing business in the country to report on their performance at handling claims over the past 5 years.

Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., a company with a large share of Japan’s cancer insurance and private health insurance markets, says it has found evidence of errors affecting only 0.45% of the 4.2 million benefits payments it issued during the period review.

Aflac already has contacted claimants affected by past errors, and it is trying to prevent future errors by centralizing data entry, improving forms and hiring more claims employees, the company says.

In part because of improvement efforts already under way, the 2005 error rate of 0.33% was significantly lower than the 5-year average for the 2001-2005 period, Aflac says.

Andrew Kligerman, a securities analyst at UBS Investment Research, New York, says the FSA is unlikely to suspend Aflac or take other harsh action against Aflac, because Aflac’s underpaid error rate is relatively low and the company already is taking preventive measures.