International Assistance Group (IAG), the world’s largest alliance of independent assistance companies, is proud to announce that Japan Assist International Co., Ltd (JAIC)has joined the group as an Accredited Service Provider in Japan.

JAIC recently completed the IAG Accredited Service Provider selection and accreditation process, but the two companies have an extensive shared history. In fact, JAIC has excelled in its role as an IAG Correspondent for over 12 years.

JAIC was founded in 1989 to offer assistance services to tourists visiting Japan. At a time when foreign providers dominated the market, the company’s local knowledge ensured that it quickly gained a competitive advantage over its rivals. Two years later, JAIC opened a 24-hour operations centre to provide medical assistance services to Japanese travellers and expatriates around the world: the first assistance service operations centre in Japan for holders of overseas travel accident insurance (OTAI) policies provided by Japanese insurance companies.

Since then, JAIC has accumulated unrivalled experience and knowledge in the field of assistance services by offering medical assistance to foreign tourists and expatriates in Japan.

For over 12 years, JAIC has provided us with exceptional assistance services; their professionalism, accountability and service quality have been invaluable for IAG and its Partners throughout that time. As such, we are extremely happy to have them join the alliance as an Accredited Service Provider in Japan,” said Cécile Hermetz, General Manager of the International Assistance Group.

Over recent years, JAIC has significantly broadened its portfolio of services. Today, this encompasses roadside assistance, home assistance, claims investigation, and translation and interpreting, in addition to traditional medical assistance services. Its client base has also expanded to include financial institutions, life insurance companies, corporate clients, amongst others. The new IAG Accredited Service Provider is already reaping the rewards of the growth of its service range, and has boosted its translation and interpreting solutions to include a total of 14 languages such as Korean, Chinese and Portuguese.

As pioneers in the Japanese market, the company constantly overhauls its services to create additional value and meet the needs of the ever-growing assistance services industry in Japan. JAIC employs a team of 220 specialists, including 60 experienced multilingual coordinators, to provide assistance services to foreign and Japanese clients alike. The company prides itself on its sense of “omotenashi” – Japanese for “hospitality”.

Tourism to Japan

The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has increased dramatically in the last three years, reaching 20 million in 2016. This is an unprecedented phenomenon for a country which is unexperienced with such rapid growth. And yet, this number is set to increase to 40 million tourists by 2020, when the summer Olympic Games will be hosted in Tokyo.

JAIC’s local expertise, as well as its international experience and knowledge, have helped the company to tailor specific, in-demand services to the needs of foreign visitors. For example, doctors rarely make house calls in Japan, but JAIC has found a solution for overseas travellers who expect this service as a matter of course.

The new IAG Accredited Service Provider has developed a broad and ever-growing network of medical providers, transportation companies, air ambulances and airlines as part of its commitment to offer high-quality assistance services to all clients. This now includes IAG’s entire network of Partners and their clients.

Thank you IAG! There is an old saying in Japanese, which is ‘GARYOUTENSEI’. It means ‘adding the finishing touch’ or ‘completing the final step’. This is precisely how we see our partnership. We will continue to try our best to provide high-quality, empathetic services to IAG Partners,” said Kazuhiro Iwabuchi, JAIC’s General Manager.

Last year, JAIC handled around 1,800 medical assistance cases for foreign clients and 38,000 cases for Japanese nationals. Today, the company is part of Insurance Group Holding, one of the largest insurance groups in Japan, comprising five insurance companies.