12,836 Japan Post Insurance Contracts Possibly Improper
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Tokyo, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--The number of Japan Post Insurance Co.'s <7181> insurance contracts that may have violated law or internal rules during sales processes has totaled 12,836, a special investigation committee said in a report on Wednesday.
The committee of external lawyers recognized such violations for 670 of the total.
The report noted that over 70 pct of affected policyholders are aged 60 or over. Of those affected, 85 pct are women, it said, adding that sales quotas that are hard to achieve led to the improper sales practices, which tended to be tolerated.
"I deeply apologize for causing trouble and worries to customers," Masatsugu Nagato, president of Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178>, the parent of Japan Post Insurance, told a news conference. Nagato said that he will speak about his management responsibility over the matter "at an appropriate time."
In the report, the committee pointed to a questionable allowance system that puts too much weight on winning new contracts, while saying that sales target that are difficult to achieve have been set. It stressed that an organizational climate that trivializes problems and ambiguous rules to share information also led to the improper sales practices.
In July this year, the Japan Post Holdings group said sales irregularities had possibly affected a total of some 183,000 contracts, involving 156,000 policyholders, in the previous five years.
Of the total, investigations had been completed by Friday for some 148,000 contracts, involving about 128,000 policyholders.
The committee will continue its investigation of the problem and is expected to submit an additional report at the end of March next year.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]