Embattled firm Kobe Steel Ltd says Japan has revoked its badge certifying the industrial quality of some of its products. As Kate King reports, around a fifth of its customers have yet to confirm their products were safe in the light of widespread tampering of specifications.
The top brass from Kobe steel fronted media on Thursday, confirming they've lost Japan's quality seal for copper products - after an inspection of its Hatano plant in southwest Tokyo. (SOUNDBITE) KOBE STEEL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER HIROYA KAWASAKI "Today, the Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) certificate was revoked from us because we placed JIS marks on products that were not up to standard on our shipments from the time period between September 2016 and August 2017." That means its copper products will no longer be certified by Japan. The firms woes began last month after it admitted that for more than a decade it had tampered with data specifications on some items. Car, plane and train makers world-wide have been scrambling to ensure the safety of their Kobe commodities - with 525 companies believed to have been sold the products. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "You know you have to look at the overall manufacturing industry and what this what this means for them. They pride themselves on quality. They pride themselves on the ability to deliver everything exactly as it should be. Time and time and time again. So while this may be insulated and almost isolated to Kobe Steel at the moment you'd have to say the regulators will be maybe honing in on other manufacturing areas within the Japanese economy and saying is this happening there as well." On Thursday Kobe's CEO said four new possible cases of data fabrication had been found amid ongoing investigations. Since the scandal its shares have fallen close to 38% including a 1.5 percent drop on Thursday. It says so far none of its customers have required a recall. But the damage may have already been done, with some businesses switching to competitors.