Table Speech

Initiation Speech
Various Lives, Various Insurances

June 21, 2017

Mr. Masanori Tanabe
Chairman, AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd.

 We lead various lives and encounter different types of risks. A wide variety of insurance products are offered to manage those risks. Deposit insurance is somewhat a unique scheme which protects deposits by ensuring fund settlement and paying insurance proceeds directly to depositors in case a financial institution fails. Having worked for the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan (DICJ) over ten years, let me share the three additional functions served by this Corporation.

 Firstly, it makes capital injections to financial institutions in need of recovering its capital adequacy ratio. Currently, 30 financial institutions are subject to this risk-preventive measure, which account for over 5% of the 570 institutions in total across Japan. Secondly, DICJ has come to provide assistance not only to banks but also to securities and insurance companies to ensure smooth business operations. And thirdly, DICJ has been expanding its scope of services to deal with non-crisis situations. For example, money deposited in the so-called dormant accounts are to be transferred to DICJ and used for scholarships and education projects.

 Now, let me talk about the trends of the private insurance industry. Besides making payments of insurance claims, many insurance companies have come to offer wide-ranging services that focus on accident prevention as well as post-accident services. It might sound a little neo-futuristic but a life insurance policyholder can put on a wearable device that detects interruption of his/her bloodstream to prevent the risk of a stroke. In France, there is actually an auto insurance product that ensures smooth travel to one’s destination. If your car breaks down or you have an accident on your way, the insurance company will dispatch a substitute vehicle that enables you to reach your destination safely and smoothly.

 Before I close my speech, let me highlight that private insurance companies are expected to play a greater role in the current severe national fiscal conditions. As our public assistance funding is getting increasingly constrained, we must tap into the resources pooled for mutual assistance. Our country grievously suffered from the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and again the Kumamoto Earthquake last year, the latter causing estimated damages that totaled 3.5 trillion yen, according to a foreign insurance company. Private insurance companies settled 20% of the claims which totaled 700 billion yen. I must say this ratio is disappointing when we make comparison with Western countries where over 50% of claims are covered. I think private insurance companies in Japan should strive to raise their coverage ratios. Now in my second year working for a private insurance company, I am committed to make our business contribute to foster mutual assistance.

Report on the Rotary International Convention Atlanta 2017

June 21, 2017

Mr. Masato Mizuno
Chairman, Rotary Foundation Committee,
RID2580 Past Governor

 The 108th RI Convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia, from 10 to 14 June. The Rotary movement was launched in 1905 by Paul Harris in Chicago but it was 12 years later in 1917 when the then RI President Arch Klumph announced the establishment of the Rotary Foundation “for the purpose of doing good in the world”. This year’s Convention celebrated a significant milestone, the Centennial Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, at the same city where the 1917 Convention was held.

 Over 42,000 Rotarians from 174 countries, including 1,200 from Japan, gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center in the heart of Atlanta. Its spacious event floor became the House of Friendship where many booths showcased Rotary projects and activities. Thanks to the considerable efforts made by our District Committee to encourage active participation, as many as 237 Rotarians joined from District 2580 and enjoyed a safe and hospitable stay. Let me highlight that our District was awarded for its top attendance ratio (7.5% of the total District membership) in Zone Two.

 RI President John F. Germ made an opening speech, followed by greetings from Governor of Georgia and RI Directors. In the evening, our District hosted the Tokyo Night where nearly 200 Rotarians joined the festivity.

 During the second and third day, Mr. Bill Gates and Mr. Jack Nicklaus were among the Plenary Session Speakers. President Germ and Trustee Chair Banerjee highlighted the Mission of the Rotary Foundation as “to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty”. They also elaborated on the sound and well-managed revenue and expenditure balance, which gained the highest four-star rating from an examining authority “Charity Navigator”.

 Putting into yen currency for your easy understanding, donations to the Foundation totaled 26.6 billion yen during RY 2015-2016. Donations can be broken down into 1) Annual Fund of 12.1 billion yen, 2) PolioPlus Fund of 2.7 billion yen, plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made an additional donation worth 7 billion yen, making the total of 9.7 billion yen, 3) Permanent Fund of 1.7 billion yen, and 4) Other sources of 3.1 billion yen. Expenditure totaled 27.1 billion yen: 1) 11.5 billion yen to PolioPlus, 2) 7 billion yen to Global Grants, 3) 2.6 billion yen to District Grants, 4) 2.5 billion yen to Program Operations, 5) 2 billion yen to Fund Development, 6) 1 billion yen to Others and 7) 0.5 billion yen to General Administration. Rotary Foundation implements polio eradication, the Rotary Peace Fellowships and grant programs.

 The Convention concluded with the election and approval of the in-coming RI President and Directors as well as Board of Trustee Chair and members. Participants also joined the big birthday party for the Rotary Foundation and enjoyed the cake and music of southern America.