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ACLI, AHIP See Sun Rise In Japan

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Insurance groups in the United States and elsewhere are hoping that Japan will change the privatization of Japan Post Insurance to be more to their liking.

The Democratic Party of Japan, which has defeated that country’s Liberal Democratic Party, has made good on campaign promises to stop current postal service privatization efforts and find ways to service the public better.

The Japanese Cabinet set the rules for the review in a decision release in October.

Insurance groups around the world, including insurers in Japan, have complained that Japan’s long-running effort to privatize its huge Kampo postal life insurance system could end up giving the privatized postal life insurers unfair advantages over ordinary private insurers.

Groups from outside Japan have complained that the privatization appeared to be on track to give the privatized postal life system big advantages over insurers from other countries.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, now have joined in a coalition that includes U.S. property-casualty insurer groups, European insurance groups, and U.S. and European business groups in Japan to issue a joint statement about the freeze in the planned government sale of shares in Japan Post Holdings, Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance.

The organizations issuing the statement “have a large stake in the shaping of new policy and any new laws or regulations that may be considered with regard to Japan Post,” the groups say. “The organizations urge the government of Japan to use the comprehensive review and other actions on these matters as an opportunity to ensure equivalent conditions of competition between the Japan Post entities and private banks, insurers, and delivery companies as well as real transparency and cooperative involvement among all stakeholders.”

“We look at the current developments — particularly the planned review — as an opportunity for Japan to deal with national treatment concerns as they exist under present law, and to adopt new measures ensuring [General Agreement on Trade in Services] compliance in the future,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement of his own.


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