Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Kobe Steel Ltd. said Friday that the major Japanese steelmaker has confirmed misconduct including data falsification on nine products including steel wire rods, in its internal investigation following the initial revelations of data fraud cases.
The scandal initially involved aluminum and copper products and has spread to mainstay steel products such as steel wire rods used in engines, suspensions and other automobile components and parts, despite the company chief’s denial on Thursday of that steel products were involved.
The number of companies that received Kobe Steel products with falsified data is expected to increase to around 500, Yoshihiko Katsukawa, the company’s managing executive officer, told the first press conference on the matter, held in Tokyo on Friday evening.
“We apologize that inappropriate operations within the group have caused great inconvenience,” Kobe Steel President Hiroya Kawasaki said at the same news conference.
When he visited the industry ministry the previous day to report on the data falsification, Kawasaki told reporters that more products may have been affected by the fraud, but that steel products were unlikely to be among them.