German insurance giant Allianz SE has decided to withdraw from the Japanese life insurance market, effective from next year, in a bid to refocus on more profitable ventures elsewhere. From January 1, 2012 onwards, Europe's largest insurer will halt the sale of new life insurance policies in Japan and focus only on managing existing contracts in the country. In a statement released September 30, Allianz outlined its plans to terminate life insurance sales in Japan by year-end. The company reassured all existing policyholders in Japan that their service contracts would remain intact for the duration of their tenure. "There will be no changes for customers that hold an existing contract with Allianz Life Japan. Allianz Life Japan will fulfill all contractual agreements and continue to provide services for all existing insurance products," the news statement read, adding that the company remained in a strong enough capital position to honor all outstanding obligations. Allianz's five other units in Japan, including Allianz Fire & Marine Insurance Japan Ltd, will continue to operate as before, the company said. Read the full article here.