Kyoei Fire was born in merger
Based on “Cooperatives organization”
Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) reconsidered the policy towards the “next” in light of the failure of the insurance companies acquisition. As a result, the policy was decided as follows; 1) Avoiding life insurance business that had caused strong opposition, to work with leading companies limited to property insurance, 2) In order to avoid politicization, to carry a thing carefully during the closing of the Parliament , and to cancel the work during opening in the Parliament, 3) To adopt individual investment style until getting the approval of the competent authority, 4) To take the prior approval of the authorities concerned. Sangyokumiai asked for cooperation the industry’s largest insurance company, Tokio Marine.
On 14 March 1940, Yoriyasu Arima, president of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives) met Sakae Suzuki (1887 – 1957), president of Tokio Marine, for the first time. Arima described in his diary as follows; “At 5 o’clock, invited by Ikawa (Tadao, Director of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives)), I went to “Tokiwaya”, and met Suzuki of Tokio Marine, and went home at 8 o’clock.”
At this time, Suzuki suggested, “If you would like to obtain the management rights of property insurance company, there is the Daito Marine company that I was in charge of liquidation. I don’t need right premium, and I can provide it by the real value.”
Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) immediately obtained 5,000 shares of the company in the name of Yoshichika Tokugawa (1886 – 1976), vice president of sangyokumiaichuokai (general association of cooperatives) and made one step of cooperation with Tokio Marine.
Then Tokio Marine proposed the merger plan consist of transfer of Daifuku Marine, merger of Daito and Daifuku, and raising capital up to 10 million yen with capital increase of 200 thousand yen. General meeting of both companies approved it.
However, Department of Health of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed the opinion that, “In the case of merger of re-insurance company such as Daito Marine, three companies merger shall be required.” Tokyo Marine was reluctant, but sangyokumiai (cooperatives) was going to respond to this guidance considering that this opportunity was the last chance to run insurance business. In such situation, authority of insurance business was to be transferred to the Ministry of Finance from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Sangyokumiai (cooperatives) and Tokio Marine petitioned two companies’ merger plan to the Ministry of Finance. As a result, the petition was accepted.
Initially Daifuku Marine was considered as the central entity of two companies because its capital and management scale were bigger than them of Daito Marine. However, considering that head office of Daifuku Marine was located in Osaka and inconvenience, Daito Marine was changed to be considered as the central entity. Thus, insurance business run by sangyokumiai (cooperatives), which had been the dream for a long time, was realized in the form of capital participation in the property insurance company.
On 1 July 1942, Daito Marine absorbed Daifuku Marine and became Daito Marine & Fire. Later the company changed its name, and “The Kyoei Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.” was born.
Tokugawa was appointed to chairman, and Tadao Ikawa (1893 – 1947) was appointed to president. The company organized the majority of farmers. With the enormity in amount of funds and business volume, the company was able to incorporate the missing insurance business into the tissue.
At 10 o’clock am in the morning of the establishment anniversary ceremony, employees of Kyoei Fire gathered in front of the Imperial Palace and prayed for mission accomplishment of the new company. In the afternoon, the celebration was held. In greeting of the celebration, president Ikawa talked about the company name and philosophy as follows;
“At first, we imagined “Daitoa (Greater East Asia)” as the company’s name. But making a wish of making efforts for the establishment of Daitoa-Kyoei-ken (Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere)”, we adopted the name of “Kyoei (Co-prosperity),” the motto of our sangyokumiai (cooperatives) world. It has been consistent as “Kyozon Doei (Co-existence and Together-prosperity).” Its meaning is “One for all, all for the one.” Legally our company is stock company. But our company has spirit of mutual organization. We are always for the contract customers, to serve wholeheartedly. ”
Regarding the company’s features, “Twenty years history of Kyoei Fire” described, “With the spirit that insurance policy should be based on the principles of mutual aid, the company runs the insurance business in the form based on the cooperatives organization.” The birth of Kyoei Fire played a historic role as a pre-stage of “insurance business run by sangyokumiai (=cooperatives).”
“Evolution History of Agricultural Cooperatives Mutual Insurance” described, “If there had not been this company, it would have been difficult to master the advanced insurance technology to extend the performance of the modern mutual insurance business.”
Reference = Kyoei Mutual Fire & Marine Insurance Co. fifty years History Compilation Committee ed., “Fifty years history of Kyoei Mutual Fire & Marine Insurance mutual company” the company, Kojiro Sakai “History of Mutual insurance Business” Japan Cooperatives insurance Association Incorporated, National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives ed. “Evolution History of Agricultural Cooperatives Mutual Insurance” the Federation, Noriaki Niwata & Hitoshi Hirata “History and Reality of Cooperatives insurance” Cooperatives insurance Study Group