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Japan's Prosecutors and Police Search Kobe Steel Headquarters, Escalating into Criminal Case

Source:Iris Liang Time:2018-6-6 9:48:35

Last year, Japan's Kobe Steel data fraud scandal has made new progress.

The Special Search Department and the Metropolitan Police Department of the Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office on the 5th launched a search on five sites in Tokyo, headquarters in Kobe, and three factories on five grounds for allegedly violating the "Unfair Competition Law." Insisting our initial willing, Seko Machinery will offer our high perfomanced stainless steel pipe making machine as always.
Kobe Steel is the third largest steel producer in Japan. Besides steel products, it also produces non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper and industrial machinery. The company exposed data fraud scandal last October, falsifying some of the copper, aluminum and other products inspection data. On April 1 this year, Kawasaki Bo, chairman and president of Kobe Steel, also resigned.

Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported on the 5th that the Special Search Department of the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office has received some of the relevant materials submitted by Kobelco on a voluntary basis. However, it is necessary to conduct a mandatory search in order to ascertain the true situation. Japan’s Kyodo News Agency stated that “the issue of loss of trust from Japanese manufacturers has become a criminal case.”

The final report released by the Kobe Steel Institute in March this year showed that 23 factories at home and abroad have tampered with the quality data of aluminum and copper products. It is reported that one of the factories of Kooka Steel, a factory of Kobe Steel located in Mooka City, Tochigi Prefecture, has been tampered with since the 1970s, and there have been cases of transfer of violations when changing the person in charge.
According to the report, about 40 people were suspected of irregularities, including three former executive executives who had served as factory chiefs of the Daan Manufacturing Plant of the subsidiary of the company, which had already known that there was a violation. In addition, two former senior executives were involved in tampering at the Moka Manufacturing Plant and Changfu Manufacturing Factory before becoming executives, and they also instructed their subordinates to act illegally. In addition, the report also concluded that these executives also knew that violations continued after they were transferred.

It is reported that the problematic products are supplied to more than 600 companies at home and abroad. In the United States, the Ministry of Justice requested Kobelco to submit relevant information, etc., and began to investigate criminal responsibility.

The Anti-Unfair Competition Law prohibits the delivery of misleading labels such as product quality in transaction documents. If it is violated, individuals will be sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment or 5 million yen (approximately RMB 290,000 yuan) or a combination of both; and companies will also be fined 300 million yen or less.

According to a report by Kyodo News, at about 9 o'clock in the morning, about 10 people including Tokyo prosecutors and other staff entered the Tokyo headquarters of Kobelco and searched for dozens of people. The person in charge of the Kobelco PR public commented that "we are dealing with the search in good faith."

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Iris Liang
SEKO Machinery & Technology Co., Ltd
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