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The Japanese life insurance industry has put off making a decision on whether to allow American International Group Inc. of the United States to begin studying a possible takeover of Aoba Life Insurance Co., the industry head said Friday.

Yuzuru Fujita, chairman of the Life Insurance Association of Japan, said the association board failed to reach a conclusion earlier in the day and has not set a future schedule on the matter.

Aoba was founded last June by 43 domestic life insurance companies to manage insurance contracts left behind by the failure of Nissan Mutual Life Insurance Co. It began operating in October and lacks a sales network capacity.

Nissan left net losses of 300 billion yen, 200 billion yen of which was shouldered by the 43 insurers. The life insurance association, which includes the 43, is Aoba’s sole shareholder.

Although the association has no rules to apply to the buyout proposal, consensus by member firms is desirable, Fujita said, adding that the protection of policyholders must be a priority in making a decision.

If AIG’s plan materializes, the firm would become the first foreign company to buy out a Japanese life insurance company.

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