Japan's Top Insurer Bars Nuclear Arms Investments

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Japan's Top Insurer Bars Nuclear Arms Investments
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Japan's largest life insurance company, Nippon Life Insurance Co., has unveiled a new policy that commits the firm to refrain from investing in or financially supporting manufacturers of nuclear weapons.

This announcement was made on August 7th as part of the company's comprehensive "ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance)" investment and loan policy. This policy serves as a framework for selecting enterprises and ventures to engage with.

Under the revised ESG policy, Nippon Life Insurance has extended its list of excluded businesses to encompass nuclear arms manufacturers. This list previously encompassed entities involved in the production of inhumane weaponry, such as cluster munitions and landmines, as well as coal-fired power generation initiatives due to their impact on the climate crisis.

Among the newly added enterprises to this prohibition list are companies related to tobacco—a pioneering step for a prominent Japanese insurer. Additionally, businesses connected to palm oil have been included in response to concerns about child labour and broader human rights considerations.

The classification of major insurers as "institutional investors" reflects the substantial funds they oversee, imbuing their investment strategies with the potential to influence financial markets. A parallel Japanese life insurer, The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., has already implemented a policy barring investment or loans to nuclear weapons manufacturers. Nippon Life Insurance's recent stance could potentially set a precedent for other Japanese insurance firms to adopt similar practices.

The global community has been displaying heightened interest in nuclear disarmament and cessation, particularly evident since the onset of this year. Notably, the Group of Seven (G7) leaders collectively endorsed the "Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament" during the G7 Hiroshima summit in May. Within this document, leaders expressed their unwavering commitment to attaining a world devoid of nuclear weaponry.

In light of this burgeoning worldwide movement, Nippon Life Insurance has determined that it is imperative to "articulate a corporate policy that refrains from investing in or providing financial support to nuclear weapons manufacturers." This decision is grounded in the company's sense of mission within the life insurance sector and its inherently public role.

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Source: The Mainichi

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