The U.S. and European Union governments have made forceful efforts to help life insurers from outside Japan get fair treatment in Japan, according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

The ACLI, Washington, has put out a statement praising what it says is the “unparalleled cooperation between the U.S. and E.U. governments” in trade talks with Japan.

Michael Punke, the U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, has been especially helpful, according to the ACLI.

Japan has been in the process of privatizing its giant Kampo Japanese Post Insurance system.

Insurers outside Japan and life insurers in Japan want the government to keep Japan Post Insurance in check, to prevent it from using its enormous size to smother competitors. Japan Post Insurance supporters have been urging the Japanese government to treat the organization as favorably as possible.

The Japanese cabinet recently gave preliminary approval to legislation that non-U.S. insurers say would give Japan Post Insurance too great an advantage over competitors.

“ACLI respectfully urges Japan to use the time remaining before the new postal legislation is finalized as an opportunity to live up to its national treatment obligations under the [General Agreement on Trade in Services] and ensure a level playing field with private-sector insurers,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement.