Financial watchdog probes Japan Post Insurance over fraudulent sales of insurance policies


The Financial Services Agency launched Wednesday an on-site investigation of Japan Post Insurance Co and Japan Post Co, units of the country's state-backed postal and financial services group, after they admitted mis-selling some 183,000 insurance policies.

The financial watchdog's probe into the units of Japan Post Holdings Co could last more than two months before it decides what action to take -- possibly by the end of this year -- sources close to the matter said.

The investigation, which began in the morning at the two units' head offices in the Otemachi business district of Tokyo, will assess the root causes of the mis-selling, by which customers were double charged for new and old policies, even after terminating older ones.

Agency officials will check sales manuals, and question employees of Japan Post Insurance and post office workers, who were entrusted with selling policies at branches up and down the country.

"We want to comprehensively know the facts," a senior official at the agency said.

Japan Post Holdings has admitted sales quotas led to gross mismanagement and improper sales.

The insurance arm admitted in July mis-selling around 183,000 policies to customers, many of whom are elderly, over the past five years.

The unit suspended marketing of its insurance products, but plans to resume this on Oct 1.

Japan Post has also found around 104,000 insurance policies were mis-sold at Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd, causing customers to be temporarily uninsured and/or double charged during a one-year period through May this year.

The Japanese government is the biggest shareholder in Japan Post Holdings, a former state enterprise that was privatized in 2007.


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Japan Post is spoken about as a group. This article neither mentions a single person in position nor mountains of boxes being carted away. Heads won't roll here as they did in Nissan's case. Look for an apologetic bow from the nameless top and a slap on the wrist from the powers to be.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's been two months after revelations, no one is being detained so far. That's obviously a privilege.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why are such cases always happening in Japan with such greed ???.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lock up the executives and no contact with wives/girlfriends/boyfriends.

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As other posters have suggested, the comparison between this case and Nissan is revealing. Admittedly, the title of this piece does correctly use the word "fraudulent", but look at the article where blatant criminal activity is described using as "mis-selling" "mismanagement" and "improper sales".

These are deliberate and egregious criminal acts designed to illegally boost profit at the expense of the victims of the scam. Why does the whole tone of the piece act like this is some sort of administrative error?

If you speak Japanese, you will know how the Japanese language coverage is even more evasive.

The contrast between media coverage of alleged crimes committed by those with establishment connections and alleged crimes committed by non-Japanese could not be greater.

All of this plays in to the myth that Japanese people are inherently morally superior to foreigners, contributing to the default assumption that, should trouble arise between a Japanese and a non-Japanese, the former is in the right and the later is in the wrong automatically, absent absolutely obvious, damning and unavoidable evidence.

In fact, even when such evidence is visible, the foreign may still be vilified as in the case of the former Olympus Chair Michael Woodford who was criticised for revealing wrongdoing by others.

People looking at Japan and its safe society from afar often wonder why so many foreigners who become fluent in Japanese appear to have sizable chips on their shoulder re: certain aspects of Japan.

They may wonder why some people on this board deny obvious truths like "Tokyo is a comparatively safe city".

The answer is that they are fed up to the back teeth with being told the world is divided into Japanese people and non-Japanese people, and the former are, as a matter of course, of nature and of DNA, more moral and upstanding than the later.

When you here this over and over again for decades, and see the media support that notion through loaded reporting such as the above, it eventually starts to grate, let's be honest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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