The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a " safe harbor " to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. We desire to take advantage of these provisions. This document contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as " expect ," " anticipate ," " believe ," " goal ," " objective ," " may ," " should ," " estimate ," " intends ," " projects ," " will ," " assumes ," " potential ," " target " or similar words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. We caution readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements: difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy; governmental actions for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets; defaults and credit downgrades of securities in our investment portfolio; impairment of financial institutions; credit and other risks associated with Aflac's investment in perpetual securities; differing judgments applied to investment valuations; significant valuation judgments in determination of amount of impairments taken on our investments; limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments; concentration of our investments in any particular single-issuer or sector; concentration of business in Japan; increased derivative activities; ongoing changes in our industry; exposure to significant financial and capital markets risk; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; significant changes in investment yield rates; deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions; subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to Aflac Incorporated; changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities; ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates and employees ; decreases in our financial strength or debt ratings; ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems; interruption in telecommunications, information technology, and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems; changes in U.S. and/or Japanese accounting standards; failure to comply with restrictions on patient privacy and information security; level and outcome of litigation; ability to effectively manage key executive succession; catastrophic events including, but not necessarily limited to, epidemics, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, acts of terrorism and damage incidental to such events; and failure of internal controls or corporate governance policies and procedures.