TOKYO – Kobe Steel’s new president, Mitsugu Yamaguchi, said on Friday he would work to rebuild trust that was lost following a data falsification scandal that affected more than 500 companies worldwide.
Yamaguchi apologized during his first appearance after his appointment as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Kobe Steel, and said he will strive to regain client confidence.
A 60-year-old native of Hokkaido Island in the north, Yamaguchi holds a degree in Law and had joined the company in 1981.
The new president, whose term starts from April 1, was earlier heading its machinery business and during almost four decades of his tenure in the company has held several positions in planning and administration too.
Yamaguchi’s appointment was announced last week, just three days after Kobe Steel announced the resignation of its chairman and CEO, Hiroya Kawasaki, over the scandal.
The fraud had included rewriting internal inspection certificates by changing or inventing data without testing to show that products had met required client specifications.
More than 600 companies from sectors ranging from the automobile, aeronautical and rail to military equipment had received the compromised products.
Although more than 94 percent of the companies, affected by the data falsification scandal, had confirmed that they found the products made by the Japanese steel giant to be safe, the scandal – along with other similar scams in other conglomerates -had dealt a serious blow to the credibility of the Japanese private sector.