Major life insurance companies, reeling from a series of misdeeds, held their annual meetings of policyholders’ representatives Tuesday.

Presidents of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. apologized for their companies’ operational misdoings at the meetings, which are akin to general shareholders’ meetings for stock companies.

“I extend my heartfelt apologies for the great trouble and worries we caused,” Meiji Yasuda President Kenji Matsuo said, referring to the company’s illegal nonpayment for some insurance claims, and pledged to prevent a recurrence by reviewing management.

Meiji Yasuda, Japan’s third-largest life insurer, was ordered last year by the Financial Services Agency to suspend sales of its insurance products for two weeks as punishment for its nonpayment of insurance claims.

Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance President Katsutoshi Saito apologized for his company’s failure to pay dividends to some of its policyholders, saying, “I am sorry for the trouble we caused.”

Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance failed to pay some 115 million yen in dividends to its policyholders in a total of about 47,000 cases between fiscal 1984 and fiscal 2005, according to company officials.

The nonpayment during the 22-year period to March 31, 2006, was due to computer program errors, the officials claimed.

The company confirmed the nonpayment after an in-house probe in February 2004 but failed to disclose the nonpayment until news reports on the matter appeared in June.

The nation’s four major life insurers — Nippon Life Insurance Co., Dai-ichi, Meiji Yasuda and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. — are expected to also decide on increasing dividends to policyholders as their fund operations have been improving on the back of the economic recovery and rises in stock prices, according to company officials.

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