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Kobe Steel Executive Vice President Naoto Umehara addressed reporters on the scandal in Tokyo Thursday.

Kobe Steel demotes three executives over data cheating

Decision on leadership's fate put off as external investigation requires time

| Japan

TOKYO -- Japan's Kobe Steel said Thursday that it has demoted three officers in its aluminum and copper business due to their involvement in the widespread falsification of product quality at factories.

The steelmaker will decide the fate of top executives, including Chairman and President Hiroya Kawasaki, pending a full report by an external committee of lawyers. The report was expected this year, but has been delayed to around the end of February, the company said.

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