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Friday, March 9, 2018

Kobe Steel And Its Corrupt Culture

So… Kobe Steel (of Japan) is in hot water once again after it admitted this week to data fraud that has been going on since the 1970s.

The actual news about it supplied customers - some 500 customers in Japan and outside it - with falsified specifications has global ramifications actually arose last year, but news about a continued five decades-long falsification is mind-blowing.

Kobe Steel provides steel parts for the manufacture of automobiles, airplanes and trains the world over.

This week's admission comes on the heels of a third-party external committee that, over the past four months, looked over the company’s specifications trail since the 1970s and has actually determined that along with falsified specifications, there were incidences of impropriety (I thought I knew what that was, but in this case I’m not so sure… perhaps it’s taking bribes for goods and or services?)… which takes the number of affected clients—NOT incidents—up to 605, with 222 of those customers coming from overseas.

While such companies as Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Toray Industries and Ube Industries have also come under fire after admitted data fabrication—and Nissan Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation have discussed their own incorrect final inspection procedures (which may explain a recall in progress for my 2016 Nissan Micra SV).

However, this isn’t the first time in recent history that Kobe Steel has had its knuckles rapped with a yardstick (If you are too young to know what that means, just know that nuns used to whack the back of my hands in school with a yard-long ruler if they thought I was acting up in class… yes, violence against students was not only performed, but encouraged by parents).

Kobe Steal… er Steel Specs:
  • 2005 - took part in bid-rigging over a bridge project;
  • 2006 - falsifying emissions data;
  • 2007 - nothing. Perhaps they need to look harder;
  • 2008 - failed to report correct income to tax authorities;
  • 2009 - Chairman and the CEO each resigned after it came to light they had illegally funded politicians in local elections;
  • 2010 - nothing untoward found…;
  • 2011 - failed to report correct income to tax authorities;
  • 2012 - Nothing found. Congratulations, Kobe Steel for keeping things hidden!
  • 2013 - failed to report correct income to tax authorities.
Strangely enough… nothing found between 2014-16… then again, there’s that whole falsification of steel specifications to all those customers…

Just think… that next airplane you are flying in could have one of its engines fall off because it’s metal fabrication is not as strong as it is supposed to be.

Or maybe that new shinkansen bullet train’s wheel cracks while flying down the rails, sending it nose down into the rails, causing the speeding passenger cars attached behind it to flip up and explode over the trains line’s concrete wall system over some small town - say… Osaka.

Actually, Hong Kong thinks it might have an issue, as its high-speed trains were built using Kobe Steel aluminum. Right now, the Chinese train manufacturer is unsure if the aluminum products it received from Kobe Steel were those that were specification falsified.

Oh... and you think my shinkansen example was out of line because I have a fair imagination, consider that in 2017, it was revealed that in Singapore, 35 of its metro trains had cracks on its bodies and in key structural components. To be fair, these trains were repaired and are NOT believed to have components manufactured by Kobe Steel... I just bring it up to show that my scenario isn't merely a flight of fancy.

Or maybe your own car’s front axle suddenly cracks as you are attempting to pass that truck on the one-lane (each) mountain roadway, as you slide towards that oncoming SUV.

Or maybe your smartphone’s battery heats up and because the metal specifications on your phone aren’t up to snuff, you suffer burns to your genitals, as you wish you were a woman and carried your phone in a purse.

Or maybe your house collapses when there’s a little earthquake.

It goes on and on… of course the public is not yet aware of just WHICH of the 605 customers wee affected by Kobe Steel.

Regardless of the current management team stepping down or being punished by pay docking, the fact remains that Kobe Steel’s organization is corrupt.

Andrew Joseph

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