Since 2002 the Variable Annuity market in Japan has taken off. The question is if this is driven by the product itself or by the possibility to sell insurance products through the banks. Whatever the main driver was from an economic point of view it makes a lot of sense to have those products for customers in Japan. Nevertheless after the financial crisis many insurance companies stopped selling Variable Annuities as those companies realized that the policies had non hedgeable product features and also that Variable Annuities in Japan were sold to cheap. A revamped and hedge optimized VA fund line up is now still sold in the market
Some foreign insurance companies are selling those hedge optimized Variable Annuities in Japan. A good example is Allianz.