Tokio Marine Group’s Business purpose and Value Creation Story
Tokio Marine Group celebrated the 140th anniversary of its founding in 2019. In the year of this important milestone, the mantle of the Group CEO was passed on from Tsuyoshi Nagano to myself. I therefore would like to use this opportunity to take an in-depth look at the purpose of our business.
In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the importance of companies contributing to society through their business activities, particularly in Europe and the United States, as seen in the emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. However, I believe that this principle of companies contributing to the resolution of social issues, or, in other words, existing for the sake of society, is a principle that has long been engrained in Japan.
This principle is most clearly seen in Japan’s traditional business value of working for the good of the seller, the buyer, and society. In addition, Eiichi Shibusawa, an individual widely known today as the ＂ father of Japanese capitalism＂ who played a major role in the Company’s establishment, asserts in his philosophy of the union of morality and the economy that, while accepting that it is the purpose of companies to pursue profits, this pursuit must be grounded in a sense of morality and companies must take responsibility for the prosperity of their country or of humanity as a whole. Another prime example of this principle is the Mitsubishi Group’s Three Principles—its corporate code of conduct— of ＂Shoki Hoko (Corporate Responsibility to Society),＂＂Shoji Komei (Integrity and Fairness),＂ and ＂Ritsugyo Boeki (Global Understanding through Business).＂
Founded in 1879, Tokio Marine Group got its start providing marine insurance for protecting the cargo that was so crucial to Japan’s modernization at the time from maritime accidents. In this manner, we have been charged with the mission of addressing social issues to contribute to the development of the Japanese economy since our founding.
In the years that followed, this mission led us to issue the first automobile insurance policy in Japan in 1914 and then to release Japan’s first liability insurance in 1959 in reflection of rising liability compensation awareness and the development of regulatory frameworks.
Our history has truly been one of growing by contributing to the resolution of the issues faced by customers and society. I would thus like to take some time to explain a few more recent examples of these efforts.
Addressing natural disasters is a major social issue in Japan.
As I stated earlier, Japan was struck by a number of such disasters in 2018. As a result, the number of natural catastrophe insurance claims received in fiscal 2018 reached roughly 420,000, exceeding the level seen after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Putting forth a clear policy of prioritizing swift claims payments above all else, we mobilized an aggregate number of more than 50,000 employees to respond to these disasters.
Those of us in management were deeply moved by the dedication seen in our employees and agents as they worked diligently to deliver peace of mind to our customers by making claims payments as quickly as possible.
I felt that this dedication was born out of a desire to protect the things that are of the most importance.
The next area of initiatives I would like to talk about is our response to automobile accidents. Such accidents are among the most important issues faced in a driving society. Particular to Japan, accidents by senior citizens and tailgating have recently been becoming serious issues.
To address these issues, Tokio Marine & Nichido began offering Drive Agent Personal (DAP), an industry-first drive recorder service for individual customers. More than 200,000 policies are using DAP already. In addition to recording accident footage, DAP helps prevent accidents by providing real-time warnings about dangerous areas based on the user’s driving behavior and characteristics.
Furthermore, if the drive recorder registers a collision exceeding a predetermined threshold, it will automatically send notification to a call center. This feature helps expedite response measures, including calling an ambulance should it be necessary.
Next, I would like to talk about the need for regional revitalization, another major issue in Japan, which is unique among developed countries in the sheer number of issues that it faces.
Recently, the population of Japan is becoming concentrated in Tokyo, diminishing consumption and economic capabilities in outlying regions. Tokio Marine Group hopes to assist, in whatever small capacity it can, in curbing this negative trend. To this end, a dedicated organization was set up at Tokio Marine & Nichido to promote regional revitalization across Japan in 2016.
The Group also seeks to help regional companies undertake new business challenges. For example, we offer multilingual telephone interpretation and medical interpretation services as a form of support in response to the sharp increase in demand from inbound travelers to Japan in regions outside of Tokyo. For companies looking to expand overseas, we offer advice on how to address risks in overseas markets, which differ from those faced in Japan. In addition, we provide support for formulating business continuity plans for realizing swift recoveries from disasters and accidents.
Health and productivity management is another area in which we are active. Population aging and birthrate declines in Japan are causing serious labor shortages, and these shortages are projected to grow ever more serious going forward. Accordingly, a major social issue is the need for companies to offer support for enabling employees to continue working in good physical and mental health—or, in other words, to practice health and productivity management. For four consecutive years, Tokio Marine Holdings has been included in the Health & Productivity Stock Selection program, which is jointly administered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Of course, insurance has always been a field that is closely associated with health.
Tokio Marine & Nichido has a dedicated organization in place to support the health and productivity management initiatives of customers. For example, we provide support to companies that aim to acquire certification under the Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program.
These initiatives have earned us additional support from our customers, with many citing how our efforts have contributed to increased employee morale or to a stronger ability to recruit new graduates.