4 Japan Post Group Leaders to Resign

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178> chief Masatsugu Nagato and three other group leaders plan to resign over irregularities in sales of insurance products, informed sources said Wednesday.

Hiroya Masuda, former minister of internal affairs and communications, is expected to replace Nagato as president and chief executive officer of Japan Post Holdings, the sources said.

The other three group leaders are Mitsuhiko Uehira, president and CEO of Japan Post Insurance Co. <7181>, Kunio Yokoyama, president and CEO of Japan Post Co., the mail delivery unit of the holding company, and Yasuo Suzuki, senior executive vice president of the holding company, the sources said.

Japan Post Holdings' nomination committee and board of directors are set to meet on Friday to discuss these matters.

Suzuki, former vice internal affairs minister, secretly received information on administrative punishment for the Japan Post group from the then vice minister who has resigned over the matter.

Sales irregularities violating law or internal rules are likely to have affected about 13,000 insurance contracts, according to a report by a committee set up by the Japan Post group to investigate the issue.

The Financial Services Agency and the internal affairs ministry are expected to issue partial business suspension and business improvement orders to the companies Friday, as they recognize major corporate governance flaws, including insufficient internal control.

Later on Friday, the Japan Post group is expected to hold a press conference to announce the resignation of the top executives, as well as punitive measures against group officials.

Replacements for Uehira and Yokoyama are thought to be selected from within the respective companies.

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