Mr. Gen Hirose was an executive, innovator, internationalist and philanthropist. He was a major force in creating an international climate for the life insurance business of Japan. Through his leadership and involvement internationally he contributed to the formation of institutions designed to permit an exchange of ideas among executives, educators and government officials throughout the world.
Mr. Hirose early formulated the concept that the understanding and support of the public is necessary for the development of insurance companies. His attitude toward this co-existence, co-prosperity and mutualism fit in effectively with the consumerism movement of the time. He also sought to develop contracts which were appealing to the consumer, notably an endowment with a long-term rider, which provides substantial protection at a reasonable cost.
Under his leadership at Nippon Life Insurance Company, he promoted various social welfare and health projects in Japan, varying from hospitals, nursing schools and research facilities to housing development and the support of athletic activities and the theatre.
The introduction of women into the agency forces of Japanese life insurance companies grew from Mr. Hirose’ desire to serve the market as effectively as possible. The great number of post World War II widows and the limited opportunities for women to enter the work force provided a pool of talent which made possible the miraculous postwar progress of the life insurance business in Japan.
For his distinguished service, he received from the Emperor of Japan in 1974 the highest order ever given to a member of the insurance community in Japan, the First Order of Merit.