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Asahi Kasei to target compliance, growth investment in 3-year plan

TOKYO -- Asahi Kasei will center its management plan through March 2019 on growth investment and better legal compliance, looking to increase involvement in profitable fields while recovering from a subsidiary's scandal.

     The Japanese materials maker plans to overhaul its quality assurance efforts in light of the discovery last year that subsidiary Asahi Kasei Construction Materials had falsified data related to the installation of foundation pilings. The parent will establish a dedicated assurance division to begin full-scale operations in April.

     Oversight until now has been focused on factors such as safety at production centers. But the new framework will track everything down to the quality of finished products. Risk compliance officers will be installed at operational headquarters and business units, with thorough compliance training conducted across the group.

     Pile-driving operations could be re-started as soon as the first half of fiscal 2016. Whether to keep the business running or shut it down for good will be decided based on the number of new orders coming in.

     Investment will be accelerated to promote growth. By the end of March, Asahi Kasei will have put around 1 trillion yen ($8.81 billion) into growth fields in the last five years. Under the coming three-year plan, 800 billion yen will be set aside for investment and acquisitions in the areas of materials, health care and housing.

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