NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- American International Group ( AIG) is reconsidering a sale of two Japanese life insurance companies for roughly $5 billion, a report says. A plan to sell the units, the Wall Street Journal reports, would represent a reversal of AIG's decision last fall to retain AIG Star Life Insurance and AIG Edison Life Insurance. The units earlier had been on the block. But after AIG CEO Robert Benmosche visited the units in Japan in October 2009, AIG said it planned to retain the pair of companies "for the foreseeable future" in part to help stabilize their businesses, the Journal notes. Since then, the performances of AIG Star and Edison have improved, a person familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Continued interest from potential buyers also may have prompted the U.S. insurance giant to revisit the idea of selling the two units. In addition, AIG has been looking to sell certain assets because it still owes the U.S. government money from helping to bail it out during the financial crisis in early 2009. There is no formal sale process in place yet, the Journal reports. Analysts have long considered Prudential Financial ( PRU) to be a logical buyer of the two companies as it has large operations in Japan and it has stated its interest in expanding there, the Journal reports. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York. Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site, Stockpickr.com.