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Feature on an Aging society

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Inauguration of the Mizuho Heartful Business initiative

For Japan, a country where a falling birthrate and aging population are very real problems, it is particularly important to create communities in which anyone, regardless of age, gender, or disability, can live and participate in community life with a sense of safety and security. MHBK, therefore, has been promoting the "Heartful Project" since November 2005 to introduce barrier–free concepts and Universal Design Principles on three fronts — facility–related initiatives (branches, facilities, equipment, etc.), service–related initiatives (customer forms and documentation, Internet content, etc.), and psychological initiatives (education and training to improve customer relation skills, etc.).

In fiscal 2010, for making effort to involve the whole of society in addressing the challenges of a falling birthrate and aging population, we took a further step in this direction by launching the "Mizuho Heartful Business" initiative for supporting corporate and individual customers who are actively working to create employment opportunities for the elderly and disabled, and introduce barrier–free concepts and Universal Design Principles.

Services for Corporations Addressing Societal Aging through Products and Services, and Employment

We actively support companies offering products and services, or employment opportunities, for the elderly and disabled, so they can live with a sense of security as members of their communities.

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Heartful Forum

In fiscal 2010, MHBK held the "Mizuho Heartful Forum" on two occasions to facilitate the development of cross–industry alliances among customers that are already developing or considering developing businesses aimed at serving the needs of the elderly.

"Mizuho Heartful Loans" and "Mizuho Heartful Private Placement"

MHBK offers "Mizuho Heartful Loans" (introduced in May 2010) and "Mizuho Heartful Private Placement" (introduced in December 2010) to "Heartful Companies," which it defines as having the following characteristics.

  • (1)Companies that have introduced (or will introduce) facilities or equipment (barrier–free) aimed at improving working conditions or daily life for the elderly or disabled.
  • (2)Companies that actively employ the elderly or disabled.
  • (3)Companies that provide or develop products or services that improve the lives of the elderly or disabled.
Mizuho Heartful Loan Financing Example: FP Corporation

In June 2010, MHBK made its very first "Mizuho Heartful Loan." That loan was made to FP Corporation, which manufactures and sells disposable food containers. FP actively employs people with disabilities, who made up 8.49% of its workforce as of June 1, 2009, and has been recognized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for its excellence in this regard. In employing people with disabilities, FP has taken various steps to ensure they are provided with a safe and secure workplace. Examples include the deployment of supervisors to ensure that basic needs with regard to matters like eating meals and changing clothing are met, and installation of numerous sensors to warn of dangerous or unusual circumstances. FP has taken these steps at 20 FP Group business locations (as of May 31, 2010) in Japan and, thereby, contributed to the local communities. FP is also helping the elderly by providing food containers that are designed based on Universal Design Principles and, therefore, can be easily opened and closed with a minimum of effort. MHBK, in recognition of FP's initiatives for the disabled and elderly, decided to provide it with financing as a "Heartful Company."

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FP Corporation Chairman & CEO,
Yasuhiro Komatsu

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Inside a factory

Personal services that give the elderly a sense of security

We offer "MHBK Remodeling Loans," with below–market interest rates, to individual customers planning to remodel their homes based on barrier-free concepts.

MHBK also provides financial planning services that use investment simulations, rework portfolios, help to manage retirement funds, and perform other tasks that assist individuals in creating a secure retirement. And MHBK work in collaboration with MHTB to provide products and services that support the smooth transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.

Using Networks with Other Members of Society to Enhance Our "Heartful Business"

To further expand and enhance "Mizuho Heartful Business" for corporations and individuals, we will apply the Group's know–how and management resources, actively engage with members of the outside community through vehicles like the University of Tokyo's "Gerontology" industry–academia consortium*, and make effective use of the insights, and university and business contacts, we gain as a result.

  • *University of Tokyo's "Gerontology" industry–academia consortium
    "Gerontology" means the study of aging. Through this consortium, the University of Tokyo is promoting activities that seek to address the various issues facing Japan as a super–aging society. The consortium brings together people from industry and academia who are interested in developing a vibrant long–lived society that, through new social systems and values, as well as new products and services to serve new social needs, allows people to live with a sense of security. MHBK was among the very first from the banking industry to join this consortium.

Services that Support the Smooth, Secure Transfer of Wealth

MHTB uses trust functions to provide customers with peace of mind by supporting the smooth transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. Key services in this regard include:

  • Consent to Undertake the Execution of Wills Service: Services covering everything from consulting for will preparation to will execution.
  • Will Safe–Keeping Service: Safe, reliable will custody services.
  • Inheritance Arrangement Services: Representation in the performance of necessary procedures following will execution.
  • Asset Inheritance Trust: Custom planning for the future transfer wealth (monetary).

Estate and Will Seminars

MHTB conducts seminars on estates and wills to promote wider understanding of these topics. In fiscal 2010, MHTB held around 500 of these seminars in locations throughout Japan for a total of approximately 8,000 participants.

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Seminar on estates and wills

"Yasuragi" Asset Inheritance Trusts

Since 2005, MHTB has been offering "Yasuragi" Asset Inheritance Trusts as a new type of product that helps customers secure their retirement and the futures of their families.

"We don't have the children, so I want to prepare a will that leaves all of my assets to my wife, but she's already getting up in years, and I'm worried about whether she'll be able to manage the assets properly once they pass to her."

"I want to make a will that transfers some of my assets to my grandchild, but she's still a middle school student, and I would like her to receive her inheritance little by little, in regular installments once she becomes an adult."

"I'm worried that I won't be able to properly manage my assets if I lose my ability to make reasonable judgments and come to require long–term care."

"Yasuragi" Asset Inheritance Trusts were developed in response to needs like these. They let customers establish trusts that are based on wills or agreements and suit their particular circumstances and desires.

Overview of a "Yasuragi" Asset Inheritance Trust scheme
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Based on the customer's specification of a period greater than 5 years but less than 25 years, MHTB will stably manage funds with a minimum amount of JPY 20 million. We will also make fixed payments at set times, in accordance with the terms of a will or agreement, to the customer (Jieki–shintaku; trusts in which the settlor is the same as the beneficiary) or another party specified by the customer (Taeki–shintaku; trusts in which the settlor differs from the beneficiary), eliminating concerns that wealth transferred as a lump–sum will be squandered or that assets will not be properly managed in one's old age.

Manager's Comments

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Yuko Sekiguchi
Financial Advisor, Private Banking Office, Ikebukuro Branch, Mizuho Trust & Banking

Attaching the Customer's Wishes to His/her Assets

A major characteristic of "asset inheritance trusts" is that they allow customers to transfer assets consisting of not only money but also their feelings or consideration for the beneficiary. For example, one of my customers included in his will the transfer of a certain amount of his estate to a particular relative on a monthly basis with the request that the relative look after the customer's home and grave. When recommending products or giving advice to customers, I listen carefully to their descriptions of their circumstances and desires, and do my best to help each customer accomplish his or her goals.

Branches (Japan)

Branches (International)

Integrated Report

CSR Management

Fostering Industries with the Aim of Generating Business Opportunities

Corporate Information

Group Companies

Mizuho's Brand Strategy

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