ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Kobe Steel Executive Vice President Naoto Umehara addressed reporters on the scandal in Tokyo Thursday.
Business

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.

The three executives in question "were aware of part of the improper conduct, so for now they needed to be relieved of their duties," Executive Vice President Naoto Umehara told reporters Thursday.

Managing Executive Officers Takumi Fujii and Nobuaki Isono and Executive Officer Seiji Hirata were reassigned to be assistants to the head of the aluminum and copper business.

Umehara was reticent about what will become of Kawasaki and other relevant figures, saying the company aims "to make a decision once we have the external investigators' report."

Executive Vice President Akira Kaneko, head of aluminum and copper, apparently received no report of the data cheating from the three accused officers.

The report was pushed back because investigators found voluntary inspections to be insufficient at about 70% of Kobe Steel's 79 production sites across Japan. The steelmaker is undertaking new, more thorough checks, with an eye toward completing the work by early February. This is expected to enable the investigative committee to verify the results by the month's end.

Revelations in October that Kobe Steel had doctored product quality data have been followed by a raft of similar scandals throughout Japan's raw materials sector. The fallout recently claimed the heads of Mitsubishi Materials and Toray Industries group companies Mitsubishi Cable Industries and Toray Hybrid Cord, likewise found to have been falsifying data.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more