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Life insurers fight to survive

TOKYO -- All life insurers doing business in Japan reach a point where they need to decide whether to continue against intense local competition. The nation's shrinking population means less of a smaller market, and customer needs are diversifying.

     In the good old days, all insurers had to do was sell insurance policies covering death. Such plans were highly profitable. Today things are different. They must now broaden their insurance products and sales channels.

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