The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) says private market insurers are at a disadvantage in the Japanese marketplace.

ACLI issued a joint statement with international industry organizations, urging the Japanese government to  to establish a level playing field between private insurers and Japan Post Insurance (JPI), which was spun-off from the country's postal service in 2007.

ACLI contends that despite being privatized, JPI continues to enjoy favorable treatment by the government as compared to private insurers. Earlier this year, JPI said it seek the Japanese government’s approval for regulatory changes that would enable it to introduce a new product that would compete with offerings from private insurers.  

“Our joint statement underscores serious concern worldwide about establishing equivalent conditions of competition across the broad spectrum of Japan Post Group’s competitive services.” says, Frank Keating ACLI president and CEO.

ACLI charges that approval of JPI’s plan to introduce a new stand-alone product prior to the establishment of a level playing field would violate the national treatment component of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

“For years, ACLI and other domestic industry groups have been working with the U.S. government and engaging the Japanese on how to achieve a level playing field," Keating says. "We will continue these efforts to urge the Japanese to establish a level playing field between JPI and private insurers before JPI is authorized to offer any new or modified products.”

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