• Kyodo, JIJI

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Japan Post Insurance Co. announced Wednesday that over the past five years it has possibly mismanaged a total of about 183,000 insurance policies that could have been disadvantageous to the policy holders.

The sum roughly doubled from the previously recognized number of around 93,000 after the company checked all of its new 10 million contracts concluded over the five years through fiscal 2018.

Japan Post Holdings Co. President Masatsugu Nagato apologized at a news conference Wednesday but said he would not resign, saying that it is his responsibility to lead efforts to prevent a recurrence.

“I’m devastated at the huge betrayal of customer trust in post offices,” Nagato said.

Inappropriate sales practices — partly due to demanding sales quotas — include instances where customers had to make premium payments for both new and old policies, and cases where customers were encouraged to cancel old contracts even if they were unable to switch to new ones due to health reasons.

Japan Post Holdings said Wednesday it will scrap fiscal 2019 sales quotas for insurance products offered at Japan Post outlets and that it will closely review such quotas for fiscal 2020 or later.

The group will also examine the 183,000 insurance contracts that may have disadvantaged customers.

The parent company also said the Japan Post group will refrain from active sales of insurance and other products offered at post offices for the time being.

The company will draw up an interim report on its investigations in autumn. The Financial Services Agency will consider punishing the insurance arm of Japan Post Holdings.

Some post office workers forged documents or engaged in other unlawful practices in selling the products of Japan Post Insurance in fiscal 2018, according to an internal document revealed Monday.

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