GIAJ Chairman's Statement released on September 18, 2008 (Summary translation)(Sep. 19, 2008

Mr. Makoto Hyodo, Chairman
Mr. Makoto Hyodo, Chairman

1. Introduction

Firstly, we wish to extend our sincere condolences to the victims of the recent earthquakes and heavy rainfalls. We, the general insurance industry, are making every effort to provide services for the customers and ensuring prompt payment of insurance claims.

We will also keep a close eye on the recent turmoil of the global financial and capital markets triggered by the sub-prime mortgage loan crisis, as its effect on the global economy remains uncertain.

2. Specific Measures and Actions

(1) Aiming at consumer-friendly general insurance (initiatives to restore consumers' trust)

(i) Holding "Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers’ Voices"

On August 27, 2008, the Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers’ Voices met to review GIAJ’ s activities so far and discuss GIAJ's functions as well.

We will steadily carry out our initiatives to restore consumers' trust based on the panel's views and proposals, and continue discussions on what GIAJ should do to benefit the society as well as our member companies.

(ii) Strengthening information service to customers

Taking into account the views and proposals of the Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers’ Voices, we have revised a “Good to Know Guide – Easy Reference on How to Buy Insurance”.

(iii) Enhancing the quality of agents and solicitors

In April 2008, we introduced a new certification framework where agents and solicitors are required to renew their credentials every five years. Under the new framework, a total of approximately 35,000 general insurance solicitors have passed the examinations.

We will also launch a new insurance product learning scheme this coming November.

(iv) Improving business quality based on consumers' voices

We have been reviewing the existing GIAJ industry guidelines, in light of customers' requests and suggestions collected by local consumer centers. Furthermore, we have provided our member companies with information on customers' complaints filed with GIAJ, thus taking preventative measures.

(2) Aiming at socially-friendly general insurance

(i) Contributing to environmental protection

On July 18, 2008, we held an Environmental Protection Forum, where we tackled the global environmental issues discussed at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, and promoted GIAJ's “Eco-Safe Driving” program which contributes to a decrease in traffic accidents as well.

(ii) Contributing to social safety and security

As part of initiatives which contribute to social safety and security, we have conducted the following measures:

(A) Production and distribution of the brochure “Safe Driving Check Sheet for Senior Citizens”

(B) Production and distribution of the brochure “Traffic Accident-prone Intersections in Fukuoka, - Report on causes and effective measures for preventing traffic accidents at intersections”

(C) Public relations campaign through mass media for Earthquake Insurance on Dwelling Risks

On October 7, 2008, we will appeal to the general public at major railroad stations for further awareness of automobile theft and household burglary prevention.

(3) Other initiatives

(i) Strengthening GIAJ’s capacity to resolve consumer complaints

Following the establishment of additional arbitration facilities in April 2008, we will reorganize the facilities in October 2008, in order to further strengthen GIAJ’s capacity to resolve consumer complaints.

(ii) Requests and proposals

From the viewpoint of increasing convenience for customers, we have submitted our requests for tax reform and regulatory reform to the relevant authorities.

3. Conclusion

We will continue our initiatives to restore consumers' trust, as well as carrying on our endeavors to address environmental issues and further contributing to social safety and security. We will make every effort toward our goal: “Consumer and socially-friendly general insurance.”