On 5 October 2011 the Japanese Minister of State for Financial Services and Postal Reform, Mr. Shozaburo Jimi, and a delegation of Japanese government officials, concluded their visit to EIOPA.

The visit had a number of purposes, including:

  • acquainting themselves with EIOPA and its new responsibilities and tasks;
  • receiving an overview and outlook from EIOPA on the European insurance sector;
  • discussing Solvency II;
  • discussing the next steps on the equivalence assessment exercise; and
  • providing EIOPA with the opportunity to study Japan’s experience in managing challenging economic situations in order to draw conclusions on the regulatory and supervisory measures taken.

The chairman of EIOPA, Gabriel Bernardino, saw the visit as confirmation and enhancement of the dialogue between the Japan Financial Services Agency and EIOPA, and commented “not only is Japan among the biggest economies worldwide, its insurance and reinsurance companies also play an increasingly important role in the global insurance market… In this interconnected world it is key to focus on reaching a global convergence of regulatory standards which will impact consumers positively and reinforce financial stability”.

EIOPA published its final reports on third country equivalence assessments under Solvency II for Japan, Bermuda and Switzerland on 26 October 2011 (the reports are available here). However, the European Commission’s decisions on third country equivalence might not be published before July 2012.