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Nippon Life Insurance Co. will introduce in April next year a system to evaluate all of its investments and lending based on environment, social and governance, or ESG, criteria, it has been learned.

The major Japanese insurer aims to boost its returns by strengthening ESG investment. Companies with high ESG ratings are believed to be superior in management transparency.

Nippon Life is one of the biggest institutional investors in the country, having some ¥70 trillion in investment assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate.

Among other life insurers in Japan, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. plans to conduct ESG evaluation for all investments and loans by fiscal 2023.

For stock investment, Nippon Life will urge companies emitting a large amount of greenhouse gases to draw up plans for emission cuts. It will reduce investment in bonds of companies with low ESG scores.

For buildings in which it invests, Nippon Life plans to obtain a certification given to properties with energy-saving and other eco-friendly features.

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