October 24, 2017
TOKYO- Japanese transport minister Keiichi Ishii said Tuesday that his ministry has started an on-the-spot inspection of a Kobe Steel Ltd. plant over a data falsification scandal at the major Japanese metal producer.
During the three-day inspection through Wednesday of the plant in Daian, Mie Prefecture, the ministry hopes to confirm the safety of aluminum parts made there for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Ishii told a press conference.
Inspectors are not only checking the accuracy of data on the parts of the aircraft being developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. , but looking at whether there are other irregularities, he said.
Meanwhile, Ishii noted the ministry's aviation bureau already has affirmed Mitsubishi Aircraft's finding that the parts produced at the plant pose no safety question for the plane's test flights.
Ishii also said that the ministry will inspect Nissan Motor Co. before the automaker resumes shipments of its vehicles.
"It is necessary to confirm whether the company has established a system to thoroughly check assembled vehicles," Ishii stressed.
The ministry decided to carry out the spot inspections of Nissan after the company's president, Hiroto Saikawa, told a press conference Thursday that in-house vehicle checks by unqualified workers continued at its four domestic plants even after such misconduct was unearthed and that Nissan stopped shipping all vehicles in Japan.
Saikawa also said the company aims to fully implement preventive measures in some two weeks and lift the voluntary shipment ban after undergoing the ministry's auditing. Jiji Press
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