Akitoshi Kan promoted to chairman of Aflac Japan

Akitoshi Kan, who has held numerous jobs at Aflac Inc., was promoted Friday to chairman of Aflac Japan.

Kan replaces Hidefumi Matsui, who is retiring at the end of the month. Tohru Tonoike, currently the deputy president of Aflac Japan, will replace Kan as president and chief operating officer.

"I am very grateful for the many years of Hide Matsui’s leadership at Aflac Japan," said Aflac Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos. "His work in helping us obtain our operating license in Japan more than three decades ago is just one of his many contributions to our company."

Aflac, a supplemental insurance company based in Columbus, does about 70 percent of its business in Japan.Kan has been with Aflac for 25 years.

"Aki’s primary mission was to help us identify the next president of Aflac Japan, and I have no doubt we have found the right person," Amos said. "Through his service on our board of directors, and more recently as deputy president of Aflac Japan, Tohru Tonoike has demonstrated a great understanding of our operations and business needs. Overall, I am very pleased with the management team we have in place in Japan. I look forward to their continued leadership in helping us capitalize on the opportunities in Japan’s insurance market."

Recently, Aflac has struggled to obtain new customers in Japan as the insurance industry in that country has faced a number of regulatory and market challenges. Still, the company is the No. 1 insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan.