【Booklet】Beginning of JA insurance <Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) and insurance ⑦> (July 23, 2016)

Failure of companies’ acquisition plan
Statement of new concept toward the realization

Yoriyasu Arima, President of sangyokumiai (general association of cooperatives) (from "Recollection of seventy years")

Yoriyasu Arima, President of sangyokumiai (general association of cooperatives) (from “Recollection of seventy years”)

Insurance companies acquisition plan was deadlocked. On 19 February 1940, Yoriyasu Arima, president of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives), met with Agriculture Minister Toshio Shimada to explain post-acquisition management plan, funding method, and the reason and circumstances led to the decision to embark on the insurance management.

On 14 February, Tokyo Asahi Shimbun published an editorial as follows; ”We agree with expanding activity form of sangyokumiai (cooperatives)  to insurance cooperatives. However, current legislation does not allow this. Why doesn’t the official of sangyokumiai (cooperatives) mobilize the political power of 7 million cooperatives members, in order to acquire the legal basis of insurance cooperatives?”, “Three insurance companies continue the conventional pursuing profit style. In surface, it seems the first start to the insurance cooperatives. But substantially, it is investment towards weakened company.”

On the other hand, this day, Agriculture vice minister Yasushi Hasumi (1891 – 1964, later the first president of JA Zenchu) and president of sangyokumiaichuokinko (central bank for cooperatives) Tadaatsu Ishiguro (1884 – 1960) met secretly so as to start to move to suspension of the insurance companies acquisition plan by sangyokumiai (cooperatives). Apart from that, Hasumi demanded Kanji Sato, vice president of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives), to cancel the acquisition talks so as to improve the situation.

It was not just. It was informed that prosecutors cemented the policy to arrest the sangyokumiai (cooperatives) leaders on breach of trust charges. However, prosecutors noticed that it was difficult to arrest Mr. Arima because Mrs. Arima was from Kitashirakawa royal family.

Yoriyasu Arima described in the “Recollection of seventy years” as follows;

“We tearfully gave up, because it was impossible without the consent of the government. (omission) At that time, it was not only that our sangyokumiai (cooperatives) leadership received a considerable strong condemnation, but also that Kotaro Sengoku and I were about to be arrested in breach of trust. Owing to the efforts of vice minister Hasumi and the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, such arrest was avoided. ”

Authorities applied pressure on vice president Sato, while saying, “Police could raid major prefectural federation of credit cooperatives.”  To avoid it, sangyokumiai (cooperatives) side unavoidably decided to abort. In the House of Lords, on 27 February, Agriculture Minister Shimada officially stated, “We have the plan to stop,” answering to the lawmakers who questioned on the acquisition plan.

Received the stop instruction by Agriculture Minister Shimada, the officials of sangyokumiai (cooperatives) side gathered executives in the Hall of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives), and president explained the circumstances. “We do not think that the acquisition plan is illegal or deviation of original mission. But facing the situation that regulatory agency issued a suspension order under these views, it is not reasonable to force it. Therefore, we should suspend this plan and look for the other opportunity to realize insurance business.” All attendants agreed with the explanation.

Kojiro Sakai, author of “History of Mutual Insurance Business,” analyzed as follows; “The first reason of the setbacks was leakage of the plan to anti-sangyokumiai (cooperatives) side. Such leakage caused opposition movement by anti-sangyokumiai (cooperatives) organization and the life insurance industry. The second reason was that it had not been installed a consent to the regulatory authority, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, even if it were secret. It was unclear regarding contents, purpose of acquisition, and appointment of executive management. ”

Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) summarized this problem as follows; 1) Because planned companies were across over the life insurance business and property insurance business, it occurred strong opposition to stimulate the life insurance industry, 2) There was poor reputation regarding targeted insurance companies that acquisition had been planned, 3) Because acquisition partner was politicians, it caused the suspicion that there could be some kind of political motivation.

While there was setback of the acquisition of three insurance companies, sangyokumiai (cooperatives) did not abandon to expand into the insurance business.  On 1 March 1940, sangyokumiai (cooperatives) once again resolved to run insurance business and issued the statement mentioning that “We should study and find a new vision and method so as to achieve the objectives of the realization.”

“The time of realization” came soon.

Reference = Kojiro Sakai “History of Mutual insurance Business” Japan Cooperatives insurance Association Incorporated, Yoriyasu Arima “Recollection of seventy years” Sogensha, National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives ed. “Evolution History of Agricultural Cooperatives Mutual Insurance” and “Fifty years history of cooperatives insurance of agricultural cooperatives” the Federation, Noriaki Niwata & Hitoshi Hirata “History and Reality of Cooperatives insurance” Cooperatives insurance Study Group

【Booklet】Beginning of JA insurance <Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) and insurance ⑧ >(July 30, 2016)

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