Kobe Steel sank deeper into crisis on Friday inspected amid cheating scandal

Kobe Steel’s revelations of widespread tampering in the specifications of its products have sent a chill through global supply chains for cars, trains, airplanes and other equipment. While no safety issues have been identified, the company is the subject of a US Department of Justice inquiry and has said it is losing customers.

The inspection of Kobe Steel’s Daian plant west of Tokyo was focusing on the safety of components being used in Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) passenger aircraft being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters.

“As a country of design and manufacturing, we have an unmistakable commitment to safety,” Ishii said. “We want to be absolutely sure of product safety as the MRJ heads towards mass production.”

The repeatedly delayed MRJ is central to the Japanese government’s plans to revive an aerospace industry dismantled after World War Two. The aircraft has yet to enter service.

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