Japanese insurers made more than $18 billion worth of acquisitions in the U.S. last year, and their spending spree isn't over yet, industry dealmakers said Tuesday.

Japan has a number of large, healthy insurers facing dim growth prospects at home, a panel of investment bankers said during a mergers and acquisitions conference in New York hosted by law firm Mayer Brown. The country's aging population, devalued currency, and low rates pressuring returns are all stunting domestic development, they said.

These dynamics have spurred a wave of Japan-to-U.S. insurance deal-making that's yet to crest, they said.

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