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CEO of Japan’s Kobe Steel says to quit after fake data scandal

Kobe Steel President Hiroya Kawasaki's resignation is a new blow to the reputation of Japan Inc after similar quality-control scandals hit industrial titans
AFP

Tokyo (AFP) – The head of scandal-hit Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel announced his resignation on Tuesday after the firm submitted false strength and quality data for products shipped to hundreds of clients worldwide.

Hiroya Kawasaki’s resignation was a new blow to the reputation of Japan Inc after similar quality-control scandals hit industrial titans ranging from carmaker Nissan to Mitsubishi Materials.

Kawasaki has been in the job since 2013 and is due to step down next month. The firm has not yet named a successor.

In a long-awaited report into the scandal, the firm found that staff — including executives — changed inspection data, or made up data, before shipping their products.

“It must be said that our company has deep-rooted problems in terms of the corporate culture … on top of an (insufficient) compliance regime,” the report said.

“During the 112 years since our foundation, Kobe Steel has conducted its business by valuing the trust of customers, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders.

“It is to our extreme regret that we have lost that trust,” added the report.

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