Japan Trade Minister on New Mitsubishi Scandal: a 'Betrayal'

Company says 3 subsidiaries falsified data
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2017 9:34 AM CST
Japan Trade Minister on New Mitsubishi Scandal: a 'Betrayal'
Hiroshige Seko, Japan's economy and trade minister, arrives at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2016.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Last year, Mitsubishi confessed it had fudged fuel tests for the past 25 years. Now a new admission adds to Japan's list of corporate controversies, not just from Mitsubishi, but also from other major manufacturers. CNNMoney reports Mitsubishi Materials admitted in a statement Thursday at least two of its subsidiaries—Mitsubishi Cable Industries and Mitsubishi Shindoh—finagled data for cars, aircraft, and industrial machinery to meet client specs. Reuters notes a third subsidiary, Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., was also included. And Mitsubishi Cable, which faked data for about 270 million rubber sealant units sold to more than 220 clients, may have continued to falsify info even after it had been uncovered. The parent company says it hasn't found any legal or safety issues in regard to the first two subsidiaries mentioned; it's unclear if the same applies to Mitsubishi Aluminum.

The country's economy and trade minister calls the development "a betrayal of trust in Japanese manufacturing." The Wall Street Journal reports Mitsubishi Cable found out in February that factory workers had messed with the data, but it kept shipping products until the end of October as it investigated. Mitsubushi Materials says affected parts were mostly distributed in Japan, but some customers were located in China, and others may have been in the US. Other recent manufacturer scandals in Japan include Kobe Steel getting busted for manipulating inspection data on metals, as well as Nissan and Subaru taking heat for conducting improper vehicle inspections. All of this has led to what the Journal calls real "soul-searching" in Japan about how corporations are overseen by the government. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi shares fell by as much as 11% Friday, per the BBC. (More Mitsubishi stories.)

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