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Kobe Steel President Hiroya Kawasaki apologizes for the latest revelations of wrongdoing.

Kobe Steel products lose Japan's quality seal as scandal widens

More faked data further undermines trust among industrial clients

| Japan

TOKYO -- Kobe Steel has lost Japan Industrial Standards certification for a number of its copper products after falsifying data on their quality, marking the group's third such downgrade in a decade and dealing a heavy blow to trust among Japanese suppliers and their clients.

The steelmaker said Thursday that certain copper tubes made at subsidiary Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube's plant in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, had lost JIS certification. The company had altered quality data to make it seem as though the products were up to grade and sold them to four corporate customers with the JIS seal of approval. The Japan Quality Assurance Organization discovered the problem while investigating the plant's quality assurance system in light of similar fabrications for steel and aluminum products.

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