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The president of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and three other top executives might resign in October to take responsibility for a scandal in which the firm refused to pay insurance claims, sources said Thursday.

President Ryotaro Kaneko, who had earlier expressed his intention to step down, may quit along with Chairman Mikihiko Miyamoto and two vice presidents, the sources said.

Other Meiji Yasuda officials who are directly responsible for the illegal practices may be punished, they said.

A Meiji Yasuda spokesman said any management changes have not yet been decided and would be announced by October.

Since the scandal broke in February, the third-largest domestic life insurer has seen a plunge in its insurance sales and urgently needs to restore the public’s confidence, the sources said.

The insurer has estimated there have been more than 1,000 cases over the past four years in which it has refused to pay insurance claims.

The Financial Services Agency conducted an investigation into Meiji Yasuda’s premium revenues and gave the results to the firm Aug. 8.

The FSA reportedly said management failed to stop or prevent the illegal practices and it will probably punish the firm further this month.

Zurich shorts clients

Zurich Insurance Co. said Thursday the Japanese unit of Switzerland’s Zurich Financial Services Group has omitted some 100 million yen in insurance claim payments for 3,334 cases in Japan over seven years from 1998.

Some 90 percent of the omissions have already been covered, it said.

The absence of an internal checking system for extraordinary insurance claim payments has allowed a part of auto insurance claim payments to be omitted, the company said.

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