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Chamber Calls for Equal Competitive Conditions In Japan's Insurance Market

Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce added its voice today to a growing group of businesses urging the government of Japan to reject approval of a new product promoted by Kampo, Japan Post's life insurance giant.

The proposed new product would initially contain fixed term, whole life and medical coverage. It would evolve over the life of the insured into medical coverage with a modest amount of whole life insurance. Kampo would be competing directly, for the first time in some market segments, with the offerings of private sector companies, including U.S. insurers.

"Competition is a good thing, but only on a level playing field," said Thomas Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. "Kampo pays no taxes, receives government guarantees for its products, operates under separate rules and oversight, and pays nothing into a safety net fund for policyholders."

Organizations including the American Council of Life Insurers, the Canadian Life and Health Association, the Life Insurance Association of Japan, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan have all issued statements urging rejection of the proposed new product.

"The U.S. Chamber joins with other national and international organizations in urging the Government of Japan to reject Kampo's new product and to ensure that no additional products will be introduced that compete with the private sector until such time as a level competitive environment is achieved," Donohue added.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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