Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services


(Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 10:42 am to 11:00 am)

[Questions and answers:]


I would like to ask a question about automobile insurance. There were 3,904 traffic fatalities last year, the lowest toll since 1949. With the number of victims having dropped to this level, it would seem that the insurance industry needs to consider some different approaches to automobile insurance, and I would appreciate hearing your views on this. The declining number of deaths will no doubt prompt users to demand reduced premiums since, as the number of deaths are the lowest they’ve been since 1949, payouts must also have fallen significantly.


I think that’s right. Unbreakable glass and such have also been developed. Are you familiar with unbreakable glass? Wood has been used to create glass that is harder than steel but still transparent. What would happen if this were used for automobile windshields? I believe it would cut the number of deaths and injuries even further. It was produced using a combination of technologies from the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University in Japan, and further advances will be made as new technologies emerge. Given that the number of traffic fatalities, which until just recently were expected to top 10,000, has now dropped under 4,000, we do indeed need to examine this issue. Thanks to high-tensile steel plates for automobile chassis, cars now offer even greater protection against dying in a traffic accident, something else to think about. The Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Council will likely need to reconsider this matter and begin deliberating on premiums.

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