East Asian Insurance Day for 2022
The EAIC is one of the biggest international insurance conferences, which was founded in 1962 with the aim of furthering and developing international collaboration in the field of insurance.
The EAIC was first convened on October 18th and subsequently became the East Asian Insurance Day after the 23rd EAIC in 2006 designated the day as a way to help the public gain a better understanding of the role of insurance in East Asia.
The member cities of the EAIC have been leading various cross-regional promotional activities focusing on insurance that reflect the situation in each country. As part of this initiative, the Life Insurance Association of Japan (LIAJ) would like to deliver a message from Mr. Masayuki Tanaka, the General Secretary of the East Asian Insurance Congress (EAIC) on the occasion of the East Asia Insurance Day.
EAIC Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration adopted on 2nd August 2006
We, the EAIC executive board and the chief delegates, had decided to designate October 18th as the East Asian Insurance Day with the purpose of promoting the role and importance of insurance, as well as the activities of the EAIC in each region on the occasion of the 23rd EAIC held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei in 2006. The day is also a symbolic day when the 1st EAIC was held in Tokyo in 1962.
EAIC's key activities
Since 1962, the EAIC has been held every other year and the 30th EAIC for 2020 had been scheduled for Seoul, South Korea. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision has been made to cancel the conference.
On September 21st and 22nd, 2022, an online conference was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the EAIC. The conference featured presentations and discussions on a wide range of topics including climate change, ageing, and pandemics with speakers from various countries.
From Tokyo, Mr. Yuji Yamashita, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs of the Japan Financial Services Agency, gave a speech on the importance of public-private partnerships for the insurance industry to respond to global issues. In addition, SUMITOMO LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, the Executive Board Member for Tokyo, delivered a special video performance of the “Nebuta Matsuri (Nebuta Festival)” dance.
For 2026, the conference is scheduled to be held in Tokyo, and the life insurance industry in Japan will mainly work on preparing the conference.
Message from the EAIC General Secretary
Mr. Masayuki Tanaka
The EAIC General Secretary
I would like to deliver a message on the occasion of the East Asian Insurance Day for 2022.
In recent years, the EAIC conference has been forced to postpone due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as the 30th EAIC in Seoul, South Korea, which was scheduled for 2020 and was postponed to 2022, could not be held this year again. In the end, we decided to give up on holding the conference in Seoul as problems such as the mounting cancellation costs for the venue became burdensome. We were initially unable to find an alternative city to host the conference for 2024, but fortunately Hong Kong has agreed to host the conference, and the next conference to be held in Tokyo in 2026 is also on track again.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of insurance in society has become increasingly important, and its significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” can also be seen in various Asian countries. There is an increasing need for the insurance industry to share case studies from neighboring countries/regions on how they respond to these societal needs and allocate their resources accordingly. Under such circumstances for the insurance industry, Allan Santos, President of the EAIC, suggested that a commemorative event be held online this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the EAIC. With his strong leadership, we decided to hold an online conference to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the EAIC and to reach out to our audience with messages about the future prospects for insurance. This was supported by the network and website of the Asian Insurance Review, the official media partner of the EAIC. The three cities of Manila, Tokyo, and Hong Kong took the lead in preparing the conference by creating the concept “Diamond Jubilee” with the four characteristics of a diamond (CUT, COLOUR, CLARITY, and CARAT) as to depict the future of the insurance industry. They also worked on inviting speakers and panelists from various countries/regions who could discuss the outlook for the insurance industry for the next 40 years at the virtual conference.
The EAIC conference was held virtually on September 21st and 22nd. Among the various presentations, there was a panel discussion titled “Redefining and rebalancing insurance relationships”. In the panel discussion, participants from various positions, including insurance executives, consultants, rating agencies, and economists discussed a wide range of topics which affect the insurance industry, including climate change, pandemics, the macroeconomic environment such as the high interest rates and inflation, cyber risk, claims operations, and the ALM, etc. In addition, a special session titled “Aging, Longevity and Health” by Dr S. Jay Olshansky, Co-Founder of Lapetus Solutions, Inc. provided insight into the challenges of developing insurance products including pensions. The World Bank also gave a presentation on the “Role of reinsurers in disaster risk finance and climate change”. McKinsey & Company identified five major challenges for the insurance industry and offered policy prescriptions to improve the low-productivity of the insurance industry. Moreover, there was a wide range of discussions on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, increasing personalized consumer behavior, Digital Transformation (DX), Customer Experience (CX), ESG-related risks, and stagflation affecting the insurance industry. As a significant feature of the EAIC, the discussions involved the overall insurance industry, including life insurance, non-life insurance, and reinsurance. As the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the insurance industry, encouraging people to rethink the role of insurance, I believe that this 60th anniversary EAIC was able to reach out to our audience with messages on the future prospects of the insurance industry.
At the conference, as Tokyo and Manila were mainly involved in the establishment of the EAIC, the representatives from each respective country gave congratulatory speeches. From Tokyo, Mr. Yuji Yamashita, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs of the Japan Financial Services Agency, and from Manila, Mr. Atty Dennis B Funa, Insurance Commissioner of the Insurance Commission, Philippines gave speeches respectively. Also, the keynote address was provided by Mr. Takeo Inokuchi, Honorary Advisor of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd. He talked about the progress of the insurance industry over the past half century since he started working in 1965, as well as the current challenges of the industry, leaving the audience with a thought-provoking message saying that “the insurance business should undergo a revolutionary change and become a provider of risk management services”. In addition, for the cultural performances presented by the EAIC member cities, Manila's Insurance Commission members presented a heart-warming chorale (the song was “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson), and Tokyo delivered a wonderful video performance of the “Nebuta Matsuri (Nebuta Festival)” dance. In this way, the EAIC was able to continue its traditional cultural exchange even as the conference was held online.
In the future, it will become extremely important for neighboring countries/regions in Asia to further exchange information during the EAIC and to respond to the paradigm shift discussed at this virtual event. I sincerely hope that East Asian Insurance Day, October 18th, becomes more widely known, insurance literacy in each country will deepen accordingly, and this will contribute to the development of the entire Asian region.