Business / Corporate

New Japan Post chief vows to regain trust as ex-bureaucrats take reins after scandal

Kyodo

New Japan Post Holdings Co. President Hiroya Masuda pledged Monday to regain the public’s trust in the former state-owned postal group now being rocked by scandal.

“We are facing the biggest crisis since the foundation (of the postal group),” Masuda, 68, told executives of the group on his first day in the new post.

He vowed to make an all-out effort to resolve all problems stemming from the widespread sale of insurance products disadvantageous to customers.

“We will eliminate our customers’ disadvantages as soon as possible,” said the former internal affairs and communications minister, the post that supervises the group’s services. “We must regain trust step by step.”

Masuda also called on executives to engage in customer-oriented operations and told them to be “sincere and humble.” He also pushed them to report “bad news swiftly,” after the previous management was criticized for taking too much time to deal with the insurance scandal.

The change at the top came after the Financial Services Agency on Dec. 27 ordered Japan Post Insurance Co. and Japan Post Co. to suspend new sales of insurance products for three months starting Jan. 1.

An internal investigation by the group found 12,836 suspected breaches of law or in-house rules in the five years through March 2019, with 670 of those cases confirmed.

Masatsugu Nagato, 71, resigned Sunday as president of Japan Post Holdings to take responsibility for the scandal, as did the presidents of the two subsidiaries.

Tetsuya Senda, 59, will now lead Japan Post Insurance and Kazuhide Kinugawa, 62, will run Japan Post.

Senda, Kinugawa and Masuda are all former government bureaucrats.