Annual Report 2011

IntroductionThe Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 unfolded into a major disaster of unprecedented proportions that caused enormous damage. We would like to express our sympathies to the families of earthquake victims and we sincerely hope that all those who were affected are able to recover quickly.As a member of the JA Group, Zenkyoren has supported the speedy restoration and recovery of damaged areas by providing both donations and goods. Also, we are working to deliver insurance payments and security as quickly as possible to cooperative members and customers affected by the disaster by providing operational support for damaged JA, dispatching damage assessors from throughout Japan to conduct damage surveys, and opening consultation centers for numerous policyholders who were forced to leave their homes and live in evacuation centers.In fiscal 2010, the Japanese economy failed to attain a full-fledged recovery, as despite some benefits of economic stimulus measures and firm exports, the employment and income environments remained weak. Furthermore, the earthquake brought an economic downturn.The agriculture sector remains beset by the aging of farmers and declining levels of income. During fiscal 2010, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and a highly-pathogenic strain of avian influenza resulted in widespread impacts to livestock and agricultural products. Also, the farming areas affected by the earthquake are facing a serious crisis due to the damage to agriculture facilities caused by the earthquake, as well as shipment restrictions and harmful rumors following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Furthermore, we are very concerned about the effect on the agriculture sector regarding developments with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.On the other hand, the public has once again come to recognize the importance of JA’s principles of cooperation and mutual aid. Public opinion has shifted and people see the need to correct the excessive emphasis on market fundamentalism of the past few years, and following the earthquake there has been a movement to provide mutual aid in an effort to help damaged areas to recover.In a related development, January 2012 will mark the start of the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives. We believe it is necessary to take advantage of this opportunity to join forces and engage in symbiotic socioeconomic activities aimed at providing stability to people’s lives and building a peaceful society.Initiatives and Business Developments in Fiscal 2010Business DevelopmentsWe saw steady growth come from last fiscal year in the number of savings-type Whole Life Insurance products sold, as well as sales of a novel structure in Medical Insurance driven by a heightened need for existence insurance coverage.Business performance underwriting Automobile Insurance was about the same as last fiscal year.For the year to March 31, 2011, claims paid at maturity and upon occurrence of an accident totaled ¥3,676.0 billion. These payments provided for life security of members and policyholders and helped them to recover from natural disasters. As of July 31, 2011, 358,026 claims, totaling ¥594.8 billion yen were paid to help those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.Fiscal 2011 is the middle year of the current three-year business plan, and during this year we will enhance our coverage inspection program targeting all members and customers, especially given the fact that the earthquake disaster has thrust the necessity and importance of coverage back in the spotlight. With this as a starting point, MESSAGE FROM THE MANAGEMENTZenkyoren Will Continue to Deliver Security and Comfort to Communities and Lives Based on the Principle of Mutual Aid02 ANNUAL REPORT 2011