Kobe steel admits falsifying quality data

Tokyo stocks up at break N. Korea fears ease

Tokyo stocks up at break N. Korea fears ease

Japan's Nikkei share average moved closer to a 21-year high on Tuesday after a three-day weekend as expectations for continued strength in the USA economy supported sentiment, but Kobe Steel's shares plunged when it said it had fabricated data.

The company said the fabrications, which might have started a decade ago, could affect products sent to as many as 200 companies.

A Subaru company representative said, "We will put the safety of customers using our products first".

Subaru also produces wings for Boeing Co., but the aerospace company said nothing in its review has convinced it there's a safety issue.

The comments were confirmed by a company spokesman.

"We are rapidly working to identify which vehicle models might be subject to this situation and what components were used, as well as what effect there might be on individual vehicles", it said in a statement. "We recognize that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue".

Honda said doors and hoods are affected, while Subaru said vehicles and aircraft are affected.

Faced with the latest in a series of missteps that have undermined Japan's reputation for high-quality production, the industry ministry instructed Kobe Steel to assess the safety impact from the scandal.

The company said on Sunday that about 4 percent of the aluminium and copper products that it shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers.

One death in Northern California from wildfire
However, many of those celebrations are on hold, putting the breaks on tourism to the Napa and Sonoma wine valleys. At least one person lost their life as the Redwood Complex Fire snatched up 4,500 acres in flames.

Heavy machinery maker IHI Corp said affected products were used in its jet engines.

Suzuki Motor and Mitsubishi Motors said they were checking whether their vehicles were affected. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. used some of the metal in question to build regional jets and rockets, but said a successful space launch this week allayed some of its fears.

Kobe Steel CEO Kawasaki has run the company since 2013, and has recently overseen moves to expand its presence in aluminum.

"It's so regrettable that such things happened to companies that represent (the image of) Japan", he said, adding that manufacturers in question should find out the cause of such misconducts and make sure they never happen again.

Kobe Steel's aluminium and copper operations account for about 20% of total sales, according to data for the quarter ended June 30.

"This is a serious matter that shakes the foundation of fair commercial transactions", said Yasuji Komiyama, director of the metal industries division of Japan's Industry Ministry.

It was not clear whether it would affect the safety of their products.

"With a string of negative surprises at Kobe Steel lately, we believe investors are likely to distrust management even more due to this latest incident, despite emerging signs of earnings improvement in the steel and construction machinery segments", JPMorgan's Mori wrote.

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