Home NEWS Science Kobe Steel Faces Japan Government Inquiry Over Data Scandal

Kobe Steel Faces Japan Government Inquiry Over Data Scandal

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Mitsugu Yamaguchi, the new president of Kobe Steel, at a news conference in Tokyo last month. He replaced Hiroya Kawasaki, who stepped down to take responsibility for the data falsification scandal.

Kimimasa Mayama/EPA, via Shutterstock

TOKYO — The Japanese authorities are investigating the data falsification scandal at Kobe Steel, the company said on Wednesday, potentially broadening an episode that has undermined the country’s reputation for high-quality manufacturing.

Kobe Steel said in a statement that the company “is currently under investigation by the investigation authorities in Japan.” It said it would cooperate but declined to comment further.

“Kobe Steel once again deeply apologizes for causing substantial trouble to all relevant parties,” it said.

It did not specify which authority was investigating the company. But the statement came the same day as the Japanese news media reported that prosecutors in Tokyo had requested records related to the scandal. Kobe Steel’s shares fell 3.5 percent on Wednesday.

An inquiry could deepen the problems at Kobe Steel. The company already faces an investigation in the United States, where the Justice Department has asked its American unit for records related to any substandard metal sold there.

Kobe Steel said last year that some of its managers lied about the quality of aluminum, copper and other products it sold to companies around the world in order to meet its own lofty quality targets. The metals have gone into products including passenger jetliners, cars and high-speed trains.

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