GIAJ Chairman's Statement released on September 17, 2009（Sep. 18, 2009）
2. Requests for Tax Reform
The reserve system requires general insurers to accumulate reserves in order to prepare for a large-scale natural disaster which might only occur once in several years.
However, the amount of the reserves is not sufficient due to the frequent occurrence of large-scale natural catastrophes in recent years. In this regard, preferential taxation measures would be essential.
The enrichment of the system by raising the accumulation rate of the reserves to 5% will enable insurers to be better prepared for potential claims payments for large-scale natural disasters, and we believe this will lead to the stability of people's lives and the national economy.
3. Financial ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) framework
In June, 2009, the law on the partial revision of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law was promulgated, and provisions related to a new financial ADR framework have been stipulated in the Insurance Business Law accordingly.
Each insurance company is required to conclude a "basic contract to implement necessary procedures" with a "designated ADR organization", and to accept to take the necessary steps to handle consumer complaints and resolve disputes, as well as respecting settlement proposals.
We believe that our authorization as a "designated ADR organization" would provide further neutrality and fairness to our existing "General Insurance Arbitration Committee", which has taken the ADR role in the GIAJ.
4. Business Continuity Plan
We will continue to make every effort to fulfill our social role of ensuring prompt payment of insurance claims in any event, including natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and floods, as well as the new influenza epidemics.
5. Enhancement of communication with consumers
(1) "Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers' Voices"
On September 2, 2009, the 14th session of the "Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers' Voices" was held to follow up on the GIAJ's various initiatives regarding enhancement of communication with consumers.
Recommendations we had from members include the provision of information to consumers from the viewpoint of ensuring easy-to-access and easy-to-understand general insurance products with regard to our website under construction (scheduled to open this autumn) where visitors could compare member companies' products.
We, the GIAJ, will continue to conduct and improve our various initiatives, taking into account the panel's views and recommendations.
(2) General Insurance Public Seminar
We have been holding a "General Insurance Public Seminar" for consumers across the country beginning this fiscal year.
We have so far held five sessions of the seminar in Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo. We will continue to hold sessions through our 11 regional branch offices. Through such direct dialogues, we will make sincere efforts to foster consumer understanding of the general insurance products and of important points to consider when buying insurance.
6. Approach to environmental issues
(1) Window of Environment
We have launched a "Window of Environment", an exclusive website for environmental issues on the GIAJ website which has been running since July this year.
This website helps consumers to have easier access to detailed information on environmental measures taken by the general insurance industry. Consumers are able to check initiatives and other related news & topics of the GIAJ and its member companies. The website also provides information on lectures, seminars and other events relating to environmental issues shown in each member company's website.
(2) Eco and Safe Driving Club
Aiming at further promoting the Eco and Safe Driving program and increasing the number of participants in the program, we newly started “Eco and Safe Driving Club” in July this year and launched an exclusive webpage for the club on the GIAJ website.
This "Eco and Safe Driving Club" is designed for individuals, corporations, and organizations that have agreed to the objectives of "Eco and Safe Driving". Club members enrolled on the webpage will perform Eco and Safe Driving and can check the effects with a fuel mileage measurement form prepared on its webpage.
(3) Lecture meeting on environmental issues
We, the GIAJ, will hold the 50th anniversary session of a "lecture meeting on environmental issues" on November 6, 2009, where we will invite Mr. Yoichi Kaya, Director-General of the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), to give a lecture on the "current situation of global environmental problems and how to address them".
7. International exchange
8. Theft Prevention Day
As the new prime minister was elected at the special Diet session of the Japanese parliament yesterday, we expect that the new cabinet will quickly implement economic measures to recover from the current difficult economic conditions, as well as countermeasures to the falling birthrate and growth strategies from a long-term perspective.