Mitsubishi Materials Corp. became the second Japanese firm to be indicted by Tokyo prosecutors for falsifying product data, in a scandal that has rocked the nation’s prized reputation for manufacturing prowess.
Three units of the Tokyo-based company — Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Diamet Corp. and Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. — were indicted on suspicion of breaching Japan’s unfair competition law, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office said in a statement. The former presidents of Diamet and Mitsubishi Cable also face prosecution.
The current president of Mitsubishi Aluminum has resigned, the parent company said in a statement, which added that executives at the three units would forgo 10 percent of their pay for October.
The prosecutor’s action comes less than two months after Kobe Steel Ltd. was indicted on similar charges.
In October, Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker set off a series of revelations from Japanese manufacturers by admitting it falsified product specifications in misconduct dating back to the 1970s, and which included parts shipped to hundreds of customers, including Toyota Motor Corp. and Boeing Co. Kobe Steel is also being probed by the US justice department.
Mitsubishi Materials said in March that five units had falsified data on products delivered to more than 700 companies.
“We deeply apologise for all the trouble caused to our customers and related parties,” Mitsubishi Materials spokesman Nobuyuki Suzuki said by phone.
“We take this situation seriously and intend to strengthen corporate governance.”
Also on Wednesday, farm machinery maker Kubota Corp. joined the list of Japanese data fakers after it said 85 customers had received steel-rolling equipment that didn’t meet standards.
Its president was scheduled to brief on the misconduct in Japan’s second city of Osaka, where the company is based.