NEWS RELEASE. Life Insurance Companies: R&I Affirmed Ratings

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1 Life Insurance Companies: R&I Affirmed Ratings No.2003-PA-009 Sep 26, 2003 Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I), has completed a review of the insurance claims paying ability (CPA) ratings and commercial paper ratings assigned to eleven of Japan's major life insurance firms, and has affirmed the ratings as follows: COMPANY NAME INSURANCE CLAIMS PAYING COMMERCIAL PAPER ABILITY RATING RATING Nippon Life Insurance Co. AA (Aff.) a-1+ (Aff.) Daido Life Insurance Co. AA- (Aff.) a-1+ (Aff.) Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. A+ (Aff.) a-1+ (Aff.) Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. A+ (Aff.) Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Co. A (Aff.) Taiyo Life Insurance Co. A (Aff.) T&D Financial Life Insurance Co. A (Aff.) Meiji Life Insurance Co. Aop (Aff.) Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. BBB+ (Aff.) Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Co. BB (Aff.) Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Co. B+ (Aff.) NOTE: "op" ratings are mainly based on publicly available data. RATIONALE: R&I has affirmed the ratings of each of the life insurance companies in the latest review. Following the recent rise in stock prices, there appears to have been a rapid recovery in broad solvency, which had fallen sharply at the end of March. However, that does not mean that concerns regarding future solvency and profitability have disappeared, and the rating outlook cannot be said to be stable. The worsening trend in profitability continues due to continued low interest rates and declining insurance in force, and the mass hiring and attrition structure of the leading sales force channels has become even prominent. While there have been moves to reform the marketing approach, which has been excessively biased towards new contracts, the trend in solvency and profitability for each company and measures such as marketing reform continue to require attention. There has been no end to the shrinking trend in the death security market. In addition to the continuing movement of customer needs away from death security and towards living security such as health and pensions, a major factor has been a loss of confidence in life i nsurance company management following the collapse of seven mostly medium-sized life insurance companies. At the same time, the regulatory environment is changing, albeit slowly, for example the marketing of individual pension insurance by banks from October Also possible is a review of membership agreement rules (regulations banning corporate agents from marketing life insurance to their employees), which have led to the monopolization of occupational markets by sales staff. With the Insurance Law Amendment of July 2003, reductions in guaranteed yields on existing policies became possible. In addition to the fact that the terms are extremely ambiguous, R&I believes that there will also be a negative impact on the future trend in contracts. The passing of this bill will have a negative impact on the creditworthiness of all life insurance companies, not only those that have applied for a reduction. SUMMARY OF EVALUATION FOR INDIVIDUAL ISSUERS:

2 NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE CO. Nippon Life Insurance is a major independent life insurance company. Against a backdrop of abundant unrealized stock gains and retained earnings, Nippon Life has secured a high solvency. Although burdened with interest losses associated with negative spreads, it does not compare unfavorably in terms of profitability. However, its solvency is easily affected by fluctuations in stock prices, and furthermore, low interest rates and declining insurance in force are putting pressure on earnings. Nippon Life has the largest market share in Japan, accounting for over 20% of the total amount of individual insurance in force. Although it has been aiming to secure customers following the introduction of the "Nissay Insurance Account" in 1999, there has been no halt to the decline in insurance in force. While Nippon Life's marketing channels are highly diversified in comparison with the other majors, there is a core channel of approximately 60,000 sales staff, and there is room for improvement of the mass hiring and attrition structure. In terms of group development, Nippon life has previously formed a comprehensive insurance services group around a core of four companies including Nissay Dowa General Insurance in the non-life insurance business, and there is a policy of not having full partnerships with specific companies. DAIDO LIFE INSURANCE CO. Daido Life Insurance has a solid operating base in the small and medium enterprise market, and is developing in its own independent way via alliances with various associations such as 'Hojin-kai' and 'TKC', and also by concentrating on individual term insurance. While there is still a severe lack of business confidence amongst small and medium enterprises, the total amount of term insurance in force continues to increase as a result of Daido Life's continuous promotion of its leading term insurance product. Daido Life's solvency is satisfactory, and because of the small price volatility risk associated with its asset holdings, there was no need to eat into retained earnings even during the stock price falls of the March 2003 period. Investment yields will continue to fall due to the impact of low interest rates. However, a dramatic worsening of profitability appears unlikely. Daido Life and Taiyo Life Insurance will together form the T&D Insurance group, and are aiming for management integration in April The conversion to a joint stock corporation and stock exchange listing, which are conditions of integration, have already been realized for both companies, and efforts such as jointly taking over the failed Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance Co. (now known as T&D Financial Life Insurance Co.) have also been seen. R&I plans to assign a new rating in future based on the management integration between Daido Life and Taiyo Life. DAI-ICHI MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance is a major life insurance company known as the first mutual insurance company in Japan, and is the second largest in the industry in terms of the total amount of individual insurance in force and total assets. While it has been working on strengthening its consulting power since the release of its "Life Planning" concept in 1997, there is room to improve the efficiency of the sales force channel responsible for the Life Planning strategy. Dai-ichi Mutual Life has separate business alliances with the major non- life insurance company Sompo Japan Insurance and American Family Life Insurance, which is strong in the third party field, and its sales force channel has achieved sales results by becoming part of the powerful sales networks of both companies. Although Dai-ichi Mutual Life has carried out 'kikin' refunding via securitization schemes, the accumulation of retained earnings has not gone according to plan because of the impact of continued falls in stock and land prices. The market risk of asset holdings, centered on stocks, remains high, and its solvency continues to be greatly influenced by fluctuations in stock prices. On the earnings front, however, losses due to negative spreads are adequately covered by other profits.

3 FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Although Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is the smallest of the 10 major life insurance companies, it is strong in government and large corporate occupational markets. It has consistently promoted a management policy of "net increases in contracts", and by working at gaining quality contracts and preventing lapse and surrender, it has been unique in continuing to expand the total amount of individual insurance in force. With a lapse and surrender rate for individual insurance and individual annuity of approximately 6%, it has distinguished itself from other companies. Attention needs to be paid to the movement towards reviewing membership agreement rules in future. Supported by unrealized capital gains on land, Fukoku Mutual Life's broad solvency continues to be at satisfactory levels. However, in recent years, erosion of retained earnings has been inevitable due to the impact of stock price falls. Accompanying a fall in investment yields, there is likely to be a heavy negative spread burden for some time, but profits related to sickness insurance (such as medical and nursing care insurance) are supporting earnings, and losses associated with negative spreads are adequately covered by other insurance earnings. While Fukoku Mutual Life does have a business alliance with Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance, in principal its policy is to continue along an autonomous path. YASUDA MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance is one of the major life insurance companies, and is closely related to the Mizuho financial group. It will merge with Meiji Life Insurance in January This rating factors in the merger with Meiji Life to some extent. R&I will closely observe whether or not increases in efficiency and reform of sales channels, which were difficult to carry out independently, can be pursued following the merger. Yasuda Mutual Life has strengths in individual insurance in occupational markets and in collective insurance within the public sector, and has secured the highest market share in collective insurance within the industry. However, its leading sales force channel has a mass hiring and attrition structure, and there has been no halt to the decline in the total amount of insurance in force. On the other hand, while erosion of retained earnings has been inevitable due to the impact of stock price falls in recent years, the decline in solvency has been kept to a minimum thanks to the sale of stock holdings and a hedging strategy. However, the average guaranteed yields on individual insurance and individual annuity policies are somewhat high, and earnings are coming under pressure from continued low interest rates and declines in the total amount of insurance in force. TAIYO LIFE INSURANCE CO. Targeting household markets such as housewives, Taiyo Life Insurance is developing unique products and marketing strategies that differ from the major life insurance companies. In recent years it has moved away from its previous focus on short-term savings-based products to focus on the marketing of medium-sized security-based products such as death security and medical and nursing care security. While the negative spread burden has become lighter than in the past, R&I believes that earnings will continue to move along at low levels for the time being due to the fact that it will take some time for the shift to security- based products to translate into earnings. On the other hand, because banking stocks accounted for a high proportion of Taiyo Life's stock holdings, its solvency, which had been satisfactory, is coming under pressure due to the impact of the stock price falls of recent years. Taiyo Life and Daido Life Insurance will together form the T&D Insurance group, and are aiming for management integration in the form of a joint holding company in April The conversion to a joint stock corporation and stock exchange listing were achieved in April In

4 the non-life insurance business, Taiyo Life has a business alliance with the major non-life insurance company Nippon Koa Insurance, and the marketing of non-life insurance products by its sales staff has begun. R&I plans to assign a new rating in future based on the management integration between Taiyo Life and Daido Life. T&D FINANCIAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Tokyo Mutual Life Insurance Co., which failed in March 2001, was given a fresh start as T&D Financial Life Insurance following a joint investment by the medium-sized life insurance companies Taiyo Life Insurance and Daido Life Insurance. T&D Financial Life's rating is based on the high creditworthiness of Taiyo Life and Daido Life, its strategic importance in the group, and the strong intention to support T&D Financial Life. The policy of both companies is to ensure that T&D Financial Life's solvency margin ratio stays above a certain level. In addition to marketing security-based products via the sales force channel of the former Tokyo Mutual Life, T&D Financial Life markets variable annuity products through financial institutions. Agency agreements have already been entered into with over ten financial institutions, including Daiwa Securities. Because of the strict valuation and sale of assets undertaken in the process of disposing of the failed company, the quality of assets is satisfactory. On the earnings front, in addition to the goodwill amortization burden, the majority of the agency commission is paid when variable annuities are sold, and it takes a number of years after that to recover the funds, so losses are expected to continue for the time being. MEIJI LIFE INSURANCE CO. Meiji Life Insurance was established as the first modern life insurance company in Japan. It is one of the four companies in the Mitsubishi financial group. Although its solvency has come under pressure due to the impact of stock price falls, it is not at problem levels. Despite the impact of low interest rates and declining insurance in force, the fact that guaranteed yields on individual insurance and annuities are low compared to other companies is a strength of Meiji Life's, and its profitability is stable. There are plans to merge with another major life insurance company, Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance, in January 2004, and this rating factors in the merger with Yasuda Mutual Life to some extent. While there was a comprehensive shift in its leading product beginning in the year 2000 to account-style insurance, where the security and savings portions are clearly separated, the lapse and surrender rate on individual insurance (based on insurance in force at the beginning of the year) has remained above 10%, and there has been no halt to the decline in insurance in force. Given these circumstances, Meiji life has begun work on increasing the efficiency of its sales force channel, which forms the core of its marketing. R&I will closely observe whether or not increases in efficiency and reform of sales channels, which were difficult to carry out independently, can be pursued following the merger. SUMITOMO LIFE INSURANCE CO. Sumitomo Life Insurance is a key member of the Sumitomo group, and is the third largest in the industry in terms of the total amount of individual insurance in force and total assets. With insurance in force continuing to decline, it is working on its "Structural Reform Plan", which is based on the two principals of earnings improvement and risk reduction. It is planning a shift away from the previous focus on new contracts, to management that emphasizes the continuation of contracts and the development of sales staff. While the loss burden caused by negative spreads is not light, there have been results from an early focus on the highly profitable areas of nursing care and medical security, and a satisfactory level of profitability has been maintained. Its leading "Live One" product, which separates the security and asset accumulation functions, enhances Sumitomo Life's line-up of

5 nursing care security, etc. A cost reduction effect associated with the Structural Reform Plan was also seen in the March 2003 period. On the other hand, its solvency is slightly inferior among the major life insurance companies, and in recent years, erosion of retained earnings has been inevitable due to the impact of stock price falls. Progress has been made in reducing stockholding risk. However, in order to stop a decline in creditworthiness, there is a need to enhance its solvency by making use of its satisfactory level of profitability. MITSUI MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance is strengthening its ties with the four financial companies in the Sumitomo Mitsui group, primarily with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. The credit enhancement from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. is partly factored into the current rating. While Mitsui Mutual Life has recently been working on large scale cost cutting and reduction in the volume of risk, its solvency has declined due to the impact of the stock price falls of recent years. The average guaranteed yields on individual insurance and ammuity policies are somewhat high, and earnings are coming under pressure from continued low interest rates and declines in the total amount of insurance in force. The new management plan from 2003 onwards aims to increase the value of the enterprise and to regain the confidence of customers via construction of a new insurance sales model. Business management has shifted away from new contracts to a focus on insurance in force, in order to raise the profitability of the sales system. Progress has also been made in diversifying marketing channels, for example, financial advisory services are being offered as a result of the business alliance with American Express Financial Corporation. There are plans to convert from a mutual company to a joint stock corporation in April 2004, and there is likely to be a limit to further credit enhancement effects due to the fact that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.'s reserve capacity has weakened due to the large-scale disposal of nonperforming loans. ASAHI MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. Asahi Mutual Life Insurance is suffering from deterioration of its financial condition due to the impact of the stock price falls of recent years, and there has been an increase in contract cancellations following the cancellation of the plan for early integration of its life insurance business with Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance in While progress has been made towards large-scale cost r eductions and reducing stockholding risk under the "Project R" management reforms, Asahi Mutual Life has been strongly impacted by stock price falls and declining insurance in force, and there is still much room for improvement in both its solvency and profitability. The average guaranteed yields on individual insurance and annuity policies are somewhat high, which has also become a burden. Management resources have been concentrated in the individual insurance field under "Success A", which began in 2003, and Asahi Mutual Life is working to construct a new business model that focuses on earnings. It has changed its previous stance of placing excessive importance on new contracts, and has adopted a strategy of emphasizing the continuation of contracts and the development of sales staff. It is also putting effort into third-party areas such as medical and nursing care insurance. However, it will not be easy for Asahi Mutual Life to single-handedly strengthen its financial base and regain credibility given the difficult business environment, and R&I will continue to observe the condition of asset holdings and the trend in contract cancellations. R&I RATINGS: ISSUER: Nippon Life Insurance Co. AA (Affirmed) ISSUE: Domestic Commercial Paper Programme

6 R&I RATING: Issue Limit: Yen 300,000 million a-1+ (Affirmed) ISSUER: Nissay Fund Special Purpose Company, Ltd. ISSUE: Bonds Rated Issue Date Redemption Issue Amount (mn) Tranche A of Specified Bonds No. 1 Sep 10, 2002 Sep 10, 2006 Yen 50,000 Tranche B of Specified Bonds No. 1 Sep 10, 2002 Sep 10, 2007 Yen 50,000 Tranche C of Specified Bonds No. 1 Sep 10, 2002 Sep 10, 2008 Yen 50,000 R&I RATING: AA- Affirmed ISSUER: Daido Life Insurance Co. AA- (Affirmed) ISSUE: R&I RATING: Domestic Commercial Paper Programme Issue Limit: Yen 100,000 million a-1+ (Affirmed) ISSUER: Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. A+ (Affirmed) ISSUE: R&I RATING: Domestic Commercial Paper Programme Issue Limit: Yen 100,000 million a-1+ (Affirmed) ISSUER: Dai-ichi Life Kikin Ryudoka Tokutei Mokuteki Kaisha ISSUE: Bonds Rated Issue Date Redemption Issue Amount (mn) Tranche A of Specified Bonds No. 1 Aug 13, 2002 Aug 12, 2005 Yen 30,000 Tranche B of Specified Bonds No. 1 Aug 13, 2002 Aug 11, 2006 Yen 30,000 Tranche C of Specified Bonds No. 1 Aug 13, 2002 Aug 13, 2007 Yen 20,000 R&I RATING: A (Affirmed ISSUER: Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Retsugosaiken Ryuudouka Tokutei Mokuteki Kaisha ISSUE: Bonds Rated Issue Date Redemption Issue Amount (mn) Specified Bond No. 1 Aug 8, 2003 Aug 8, 2013 Yen 30,000 (the bond is provided with general security) R&I RATING: A (Affirmed) ISSUER: Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. A+ (Affirmed) ISSUER: Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Co. A (Affirmed)

7 ISSUER: Taiyo Life Insurance Co. A (Affirmed) ISSUER: T&D Financial Life Insurance Co. A (Affirmed) ISSUER: Meiji Life Insurance Co. A op (Affirmed) ISSUER: Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. BBB+ (Affirmed) ISSUER: Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Co. BB (Affirmed) ISSUER: Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Co. B+ (Affirmed)

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