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Meiji Yasuda Life planning major expansion into nursing homes

JIJI

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. aims to increase by tenfold the number of residential rooms in its nursing care facilities in the next half-decade.

“We will work with the goal of increasing the number of rooms to 1,000 in four or five years,” Kenji Matsuo, president of the company, said in a recent interview.

The move is designed to enhance the insurer’s services responding to the graying of Japan’s society and to have a synergetic effect on insurance product sales.

Meiji Yasuda entered the nursing care business last March when it acquired a 103-room nursing home in Tachikawa, western Tokyo.

The company plans to add an extension to the facility to increase the number of residential rooms to 137 this March.

It also plans aggressive mergers with and acquisitions of other operators of similar facilities, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Matsuo said the company has concluded 10,000 contracts for a product, launched last August, that pays a pension if the insured is certified as being in need of Level 3 care under Japan’s public nursing system, which has five levels.

The annual sales target of 16,000 contracts for the product is “fully achievable,” according to Matsuo.

The Japanese insurance industry is concerned about expected falls in sales due to a planned hike in April in insurance premiums for savings-based products.

Matsuo said Meiji Yasuda hopes to foster its nursing care insurance as a major pillar to cover a decline in sales of savings-based products.