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Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. said Monday it will promote Vice President Shinichi Yokoyama, 58, to president.

Yokoyama will replace President Koichi Yoshida, 60, who will remain on the board as an adviser.

The appointments will be formalized at a general meeting of substitutional members, which is the equivalent of a general shareholders’ meeting of a stock company, due to be held July 3.

Yokoyama said his first task is to regain customer trust by improving the company’s asset quality and reinforcing earning power.

Yoshida, who held the top post for three years, called for doing away with “things that do not match the times. I want the new president to go ahead and change what he wants to, without fear of taboos or convention.”

Yokoyama, who joined the company in 1966, has served as vice president since April last year.

Insurance merger set

Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and Dai-ichi Property and Casualty Insurance Co., the nonlife insurance unit of Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., formally signed an agreement Monday to merge on April 1, 2002, the two said.

The move is part of a wide-ranging business alliance that Yasuda Fire and Dai-ichi Mutual agreed upon last August.

Under the agreement, each Dai-ichi Property share, which has a par value of 50,000 yen, will be swapped for 160 Yasuda Fire shares, whose par value is 50 yen. Yasuda Fire will be the surviving entity, while Dai-ichi Property will be dissolved.

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