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About JCIAMessage from the Chairperson

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6th June, 2020
Japan Cooperative Insurance Association Incorporated
Kotaro Ichimura, Chairperson

As we enter 2020, let me offer my hearty wishes for your happiness in the New Year.
Firstly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the member societies and affiliates for the support and cooperation they have given to the Japan Cooperative Insurance Association Incorporated (JCIA).
The journal "Cooperative and Commercial Insurance" published by JCIA marked the 60th anniversary since the first issue of its predecessor "Cooperative Insurance Studies" in June 1959. We have been able to continue publishing the journal up until today thanks only to the understanding and cooperation we've received from our many readers, contributing authors, and member societies. I would like to take this opportunity to again express my gratitude.
In last year's combined July/August issue of Cooperative and Commercial Insurance, JCIA published the "60th Anniversary Special Feature," which contained articles from Cooperative and Commercial Insurance and its predecessor "Cooperative Insurance Studies" that readers found to be extremely valuable assets as documents and suggested that JCIA make efforts to have these articles available to and known by many more people. Beginning last November, JCIA has placed the tables of contents from the journals issued over the last 60 years on its website and added a search function to search for these contents. I hope this will serve as some help in the pursuits of cooperative insurance and cooperatives, and the study of directors and employees engaged in the cooperative insurance business.

Recently, large-scale natural disasters such as typhoons and torrential rains, earthquakes etc. that threaten our lives have been occurring. Last year, typhoons Faxai and Hagibis caused serious damage in different parts of the country. I would like to again extend my deepest sympathy to those people affected by the disasters.

While the risks of natural disasters increase, many people are worried about the future due to the rise in consumption tax, the heavier burden of social security costs, the slowdown in real wages, etc. In the coming aged society, it will be important for people to continue participating in society with a purpose in life, while extending their "health life years" as best they can. The ways of life and lifestyles after adding years vary between individuals, such as enjoying hobbies, continuing work, participating in volunteering and community activities, etc.
Since cooperatives are people-based organizations, they are deeply involved with the everyday lives of many cooperative members living in the community. Through ongoing relationships, cooperatives and cooperative insurance make a range of different efforts and hold activities in order to help maintain and enhance the good health of cooperative members and people living in the community. We believe that we may be able to provide a variety of help to individual cooperative members in considering what life plans they should assume in the future and what preparations are needed for these life plans.

The environment surrounding the cooperative insurance business is currently undergoing drastic changes with the tightening of international capital controls, the advancement of autonomous-vehicle technology, and the utilization of big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Especially in the use of digital technology, changes are expected to accelerate in every aspect of the cooperative insurance business and insurance, such as the development of the structure of the cooperative insurance business and of insurance products, methods of sharing and selling products, underwriting methods for insurance contracts, accident acceptance and investigation methods, payment methods for cooperative insurance and insurance, etc. Furthermore, entries into financial and insurance services by major information companies who are strong in technology, and collaboration and alliances between existing financial institutions are expected to become increasingly active in the future.
In such changing times, cooperative insurance must respond flexibly to these changes to provide consistent "safety" to its cooperative members and policyholders, by reconfirming the enduring philosophy of cooperative insurance and having the philosophy shared by each director and employee engaged in the business in order to embody it.

JCIA will strive for the further development of cooperative insurance and cooperatives in coordination and cooperation with the member societies and affiliates. I look forward to your continued understanding and support for the Association's activities.
In closing, I wish that the New Year will be a bright year filled with hope for all of you.