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郵政保険提携 企業価値の向上占う試金石だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 1, 2013
Japan Post-Aflac deal a chance to revive postal sector profits
郵政保険提携 企業価値の向上占う試金石だ(7月31日付・読売社説)

The recent agreement by Japan Post Holdings Co. and Aflac Inc. to expand their business alliance should serve to improve the profitability of the nation’s postal services but not hamper fair competition in the domestic insurance market.
 郵政事業の収益を向上させ、日本の保険市場の公正な競争を阻害しない提携が求められる。

On Friday, the Japan Post Group’s holding company and the major U.S. insurance firm announced their decision to strengthen their partnership in the insurance business.
 日本郵政と米保険大手のアメリカンファミリー生命保険(アフラック)が、がん保険の提携強化で合意した。

Aflac’s market share in Japan’s cancer insurance sector is currently 70 percent. The U.S. firm was firmly opposed to Japan Post Holding’s entry into the market, considering the Japanese government’s equity investment in the holding company.
 アフラックは日本のがん保険市場の7割を占める最大手で、日本政府が出資する日本郵政のがん保険参入に強く反対していた。

In light of this, the recent deal seems unusual in that the two corporations will now fully cooperate in marketing their cancer insurance policies.
 それが一転して、がん保険を本格的に共同販売するという異例の提携劇である。

The agreement will result in an increase in the number of post offices selling Aflac cancer insurance to 20,000 from the current 1,000. This will be complemented by a similar marketing plan at shops directly managed by Japan Post Insurance Co., another arm of the holding company.
 具体的には、アフラックのがん保険を販売する郵便局を、現在の1000局から2万局へ拡大し、かんぽ生命保険の直営店でも取り扱うようにする。

The accord also requires Aflac to develop a new cancer insurance instrument that will be marketed by Japan Post Holdings.
 アフラックは、日本郵政が販売するがん保険の専用商品を開発するという。

At a press conference Friday, Japan Post Holdings President Taizo Nishimuro emphasized the significance of the two corporations’ expanded business partnership. “It will both benefit customers and increase the value of the Japan Post Group,” he said. Nishimuro was named president of the holding company in June.
 6月に就任した西室泰三・日本郵政社長は記者会見で、「顧客の利便性を高め、グループの企業価値を高められる」と述べ、提携拡大の意義を強調した。

Going forward, it is important that Japan Post Holdings makes the most of the recent deal to further develop its insurance business. If it envisions the fortified partnership as a mere tool for boosting sales commissions, it will scarcely gain from the deal. To this end, Japan Post Holdings must continue fine-tuning the agreement.
 重要なのは日本郵政の保険ビジネスの成長につなげることだ。販売手数料を得るだけではメリットは乏しい。アフラックと提携内容をさらに詰める必要がある。

In negotiations with Japan over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the United States disapproved of an attempt by the holding company to expand the scope of its insurance services. This recent deal should nullify Washington’s concerns and remove a potential hindrance to progress in sideline TPP talks between the two nations. The move will likely prove advantageous in TPP negotiations as they shift into high gear.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)を巡る日米交渉で、米国は日本郵政の保険事業拡大に難色を示していた。両社の提携で支障の一つがなくなる。これから本格化するTPP交渉には追い風となろう。

Ensure fair competition

Meanwhile, the domestic life insurance industry is still apprehensive about what it sees as “a domineering partnership” between Japan Post Holdings and Aflac. Because the government owns shares in the holding company, some critics have called the arrangement a tacit government guarantee. Domestic life insurance firms fear the latest accord could eventually strain the private-sector insurance industry, just as the state-run postal business did before its privatization.
 一方、日本の生保業界には、国の後ろ盾がある日本郵政とアフラックの“巨大提携”が、新たな民業圧迫につながるのではないかとの懸念がくすぶっている。

To invigorate the insurance market, it is essential to ensure fair competition. To achieve this, the government must keep a close watch on movements in the market.
 保険市場の活性化を図るには、公正な競争が確保されていることが不可欠だ。政府はしっかり監視してもらいたい。

The holding company hopes to list the government-held postal shares on the stock market in fiscal 2015. Profits from the sale of the listed shares will be used to help finance revitalization projects for areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Steady progress must be made in ensuring the shares are listed.
 日本郵政は、政府が持つ日本郵政株を2015年度に上場することを目指している。上場に伴う政府保有株の売却益は、東日本大震災の復興財源に活用される。着実な上場の実現が望まれる。

However, the shrinking scale of Japan Post Holdings’ operations is alarming, as the situation could impede the government’s efforts to list its postal stock.
 気がかりなのは、日本郵政の事業が縮小傾向にあることだ。上場の障害となりかねない。

Furthermore, Japan Post Insurance has seen an ongoing decline in its number of active contracts. There has also been a large drop in the quantity of mail, postcards and other related business handled by the Japan Post Group. To add insult to injury, the value of outstanding deposits at Japan Post Bank Co., another unit of the group, has steadily decreased in the wake of postal privatization.
 かんぽ生命の保有契約件数は減少が続き、郵便の取扱数や、ゆうちょ銀行の残高も民営化前より大きく目減りした。

Japan Post Holdings hopes to improve its profitability through such measures as an entry into the housing loan business. However, there are lingering concerns over its evaluation system for loan applications and supervision of internal operations.
 日本郵政は、住宅ローンなどへの参入で収益向上を図りたい考えだが、融資審査や内部管理などの体制は依然として心もとない。

Can Japan Post Holdings turn its business around to achieve tangible financial results? Nishimuro’s management skills will soon be tested.
 長引く低迷から脱却し、目に見える成果を出せるか。西室体制の経営手腕が問われよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2013)
(2013年7月31日02時10分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-08-02 07:22 | 英字新聞

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