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Another Japanese firm admits falsifying data for quake shock absorbers

42 Comments
By Behrouz Mehri

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But dozens of people died after a powerful 6.6-magnitude quake hit northern region of Hokkaido early last month, triggering landslides and collapsing houses.

So, trying to make the connection that somehow these people died due to the falsification of data related to the dampers? That sure seems like the inference here.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The data fraud is the latest in a string of quality-control and governance scandals to hit major Japanese businesses in recent years.

Latest and ongoing, I am quite sure we have yet to see the end anytime soon.

I dont know which is worse, these companies falsifying data, the people who are supposedly charged with overseeing them, or the government types that are getting nailed for all sorts of BS, related not only these issues but others as well.

Corruption runs deep, the common folks are ignored, and life goes on after a few teeth-sucking, deep-bow apologies? Wake up folks! You are allowing the country to be taken from you!

I wonder if there really IS something in the water!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

No kidding, when one goes they all come out at the same time... another company tomorrow... Japanese governance is zero

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha, just how much rot is there? So much for honmae/tatamae

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Corruption at Japanese companies?! That can't be!

Seriously, wake me up when there is actual news.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Just another day in the murky world of fake Japan.

What will happen to these companies though? The people at the top should be prosecuted, and the companies should receive severe punishment. This is fraud which endangers the lives of thousands - if not millions - of people.

My prediction: Nothing significant will happen and this sort of stuff will keep on happening.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Another sunrise... another fraud case. 

Welcome to the land of the rising sun.

But of course the sun rises all over the world doesn't it.

S

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another day, another fraud, another apology.

I think this is the result of the uncontrolled obsession with rules and regulations in Japanese society which kills not only creativity and innovation, but leads to paralyses of controlling systems. "The more rules and regulations, the more thieves and robbers." said Lao Tzu and Churchill noted: “If you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.”

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why am I not surprised anymore...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why am I not surprised anymore...

Let's hope that one day we can be surprised for not waking up to another case of fraud.  We can only dream...

S

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cue Sonny and Cher, “And the beat goes on” and on and on! Is there anything in Japan that is not a fraudulent sham?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Could this be companies tell-tailing on each other?

"If I'm going down, you're coming with me!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such act is no better than Made in China goods.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm having trust issues with my Made in Japan toilet.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

While this is very damaging and shows the nature of greed, I think this is far more common than I’d like to think, here and abroad.

Capitalism almost ensures that this kind of behavior is rewarded as long as you are also producing quality.

What I mean is that I am sure that airbags even way back had never caught flaws, many manufactures lie about data, vehicle mileage claims are almost guaranteed to never work out in real life.

It also takes a good deal of transparency and anti corruption to find all these lies and expose them, and thats a positive for me in all this. But Japan doesn’t scare its rich and powerful with harsh punishments and jail. If the actual individual isn’t punished, I think in a culture like ours here, the message gets lost in translation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Going back to the days after the war when Made in Japan equaled inferior products. Japan has come a long way since then. Why are Japanese companies falsifying data? Can't they make quality products anymore? Is it easier to change numbers rather than go through the research and testing? "Oh, so what if we get caught? We bow and apologize."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When I first came here I thought it was the modernest first world country in the world. After a long time here it is just another Asian country like Cambodia or Vietnam.

but, I still love japan, just have to adapt to the reality.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Local media reported they may include the Tokyo Skytree --

Oh my God!!!!!

one of the world's tallest buildings at 634 meters -- as well as the Tokyo local government's headquarters. The authorities however stressed there was no immediate safety risk.

Whatever. Another reason not to go to the Skytree.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When I first came here I thought it was the modernest first world country in the world. After a long time here it is just another Asian country like Cambodia or Vietnam.

Exactly. They're just better at presentation and covering their mistakes. That's all.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Made in Japan = crap disguised as high quality and sold at high prices. No one can now claim products made here are any better than anywhere else with a serious face. This is... what? The fourth such scandal this week? It to mention all the medical school test fudging, government fudging of numbers of disabled people employed, TEPCO lying about radiation in water they said was fine, and all the car companies falsifying data for decades.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One of these days there will be a series of headlines; Japanese cars all inspected correctly by certified inspectors; Japanese company passes independent financial audit; police arrest truck driver for tailgating and speeding on the highway, and finally Japanese politician rejected brown envelope of cash!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Boy Next Door - Such act is no better than Made in China goods

I have more faith in Chinese goods because they are cheap and you expect a little less quality. However, Japanese goods are high priced and ‘supposed to be’ high quality. Everything made in Japan I can buy from China for 30-50% less and, in most cases, it is exactly the same product. I build custom guitars and am regularly using Amazon for guitar parts. A simple example is, Fender Strat control knobs. To buy them from a Japanese store they are ¥350 each. Whereas, I can buy a full set of three from China for ¥240 with free shipping. This is just one simple example. Another good example of Japanese rip off fraud is rental properties. They come up with all these ‘money for nothing’ fees that you will never see again. Then, when you renew your lease you have to pay an extra month’s rent. They claim it’s an administration fee, but it’s just another ‘money for nothing’ rip off. The amount of fraud and deceit in corporate Japan is astonishing and it goes from the very top with high ranking politicians misappropriating funds and falsifying data to the local tradesman charging you for nothing while he dithers around looking busy. The international image of Japan is of hardworking and honest cherry blossom and sushi loving polite people. However, once you get passed the smoke and mirrors you quickly realize, “It’s a trap!”

9 ( +9 / -0 )

All countries do cover ups and corruption. And all governments and big business scam and look down on the citizens and residents. They believe themselves to be above accountability. In this regard, Japan is no better or worse.

The people deserve better.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"I deeply apologize for causing great concerns and trouble," Kawakin president Shinkichi Suzuki told reporters.

Falsifying data on systems built to isolate the effects of quakes... In Japan...

I am not a structure engineer but this sound quite bad, this should be criminal and heavily punished, am talking serious jail time here.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

haha pathetic.

Bow and move on.

Then tomorrow another company. Rinse and repeat.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's time for a purge.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Another another are forever

They won't leave in the night

I've no fear that they might

Desert Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Toasted Heretic - All countries do cover ups and corruption. And all governments and big business scam and look down on the citizens and residents. They believe themselves to be above accountability. In this regard, Japan is no better or worse

Do not not try to justify or rationalize Japan’s never ending list of corporate fraud by comparing it to other countries. The amount of corporate fraud, political corruption and misappropriated funds in Japan is much higher than any other country. And, the penalties for such behavior are much less severe than other countries. Perhaps this is why it continues to happen so often.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Everything made in Japan I can buy from China for 30-50% less and, in most cases, it is exactly the same product.

There is also a recent change in China and Korea whereby some companies are really innovating AND making high quality products at very reasonable prices. Look at Samsung, DJI, Zhiyung etc. The answer to this competition in Japan is to slap massive taxes and duties on those products, or just not stock them at all.

It is often far cheaper to buy them online and pay the import taxes as opposed to paying the ridiculous retail prices in Japan (or even on Amazon.JP). Japan's inward looking, scandalous and self-regulated business practices are really starting to erode image, trust and profitability.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Yubaru I am not really an expert but the problem in Hokkaido was mostly due to landslides and soil liquefaction as far as I know. Living near hillsides is a constant risk not only because of earthquakes, but also because of massive rain.

Liquefaction on the other hand, is usually caused by the presence of a nearby river, the sea or underground water.

These issues cannot be prevented by the use of oil dampers or anything like that, they require totally different techniques.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many factories in China are led by Japanese corporations, explaining that quality from China often is seen high by now.

I think Japan has stopped some 15 years ago or so to try to improve hard and has been overusing its country image for industry products to sell at high prices.

Not that quality is not there, but companies working altogether (principle of keiretsu. former zaibatsu like Marubeni, Sumitomo, Nissan, Toshiba... ) and with no financial gain to expect, no Japanese individual will ever whistleblow since it is not congratulated but hated culturally speaking. So all depends on top management to decide to announce it or not.

To bow or not to bow, that is the question.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's odd figuring out the motives when no one is ever arrested. I'm curious what prompted them to come forward? Because another company already did, so they won't look as bad?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Toasted Heretic: " In this regard, Japan is no better or worse."

Well, yes and no. No better or worse in terms of practice, but other countries government's rarely sit by and give ZERO punishment. Hell, in China they execute the company heads if it gives China a bad name or hurts sales. It is no Wonder we hear about this EVERY DAY when these guys are never punished, and in fact are often rewarded for it with severance packages if they "retire to take responsibility (even though it wasn't them)".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why am I not surprised anymore...

the question that should be from the J government is, "OK which firms can openly declare that theyve not falsified any data the last 20+30yrs ?"................. only crickets heard above the silence.

sadly this "Nihon maker this, Nihon maker that" is become more of a joke by the day! I know the Chinese are renouned for make cheap shoddy products but Japan really cant bash them anymore as an excuse.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps this company came out and admitted guilt either due to copying (which is popular here) or due to guilt,(as even criminals often turn themselves in at their local koban) ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jonathan Prin - Many factories in China are led by Japanese corporations, explaining that quality from China often is seen high by now.

Calling a foul on this comment. Japanese management has nothing to do with the quality of products from other Asian countries. In fact, it is because of the poor management, decline in quality of products and ridiculously high pricing of Japanese goods the market has been opened up for these countries to supply equal or higher quality products at much lower prices. Chinese and Korean companies want to take the markets from Japan with quality products and with all the fraud scandals in corporate Japan it is becoming very easy for them to do so. Think about Kanebo skin care cream and Takata airbags to understand just how unscrupulous Japanese companies have become. Both of these companies knew there were problems with their products that caused harm and put lives in danger, but continued to sell the products for years knowing full well they could cause death or injury. That’s only two examples of an extensive and ever growing list of unscrupulous and fraudulent corporations in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A friend working in the Japanese steel industry told me proudly how each part for nuclear power plants has to be made especially strong, and specially inspected.

No-one sems to be asking the following question, but do Japanese Nuclear Power Plants have specially-certified earthquake dampers fitted to them? Or perhaps I should withdraw this question, if it is not politically acceptable? (I know that damage was caused to the Fukushima Daiichi NPP by the initial earthquake, although that was covered up by the vested parties, and all damage was subsequently blamed on the tsunami... .)

Just asking, I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't understand why you have to falsify all of this data, why don't these companies just get it right first time, its cheaper, its better, more trust worthy, most companies are built on reputation, a lot of companies are now going to be very sceptical when they buy product from Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a part of the image of Japanese companies starting with Olympus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Much to say and do about something that must first be clarified. What is or are the standard/s and the basis and tests that determined that standard? How extensive and detailed were the tests, if any? Apparently the minimum was in the past Magnitude 7. What is it now? Who determined that the new standard was acceptable in and for the government? Who is enforcing that standard? How is the testing being done at the factories? Is there a standard equipment and specific methods and procedures? And a whole lot more..?

The acceptable tolerance was 15% . If that is going either direction then it adds up as being 30%? Why that much margin for error to begin with?

But finally what were and are the discrepancy range of those that need to be replaced? Was the discrepancy toward the plus side or the minus side?

It would be nice if the reporting was with more details.

The authorities indicate no immediate risk. Does that mean they are acceptable and usable (meaning safe) till exchanged, but forced to replace only because they do not meet specific standard and specifications?

Quakes can happen at any time and unpredictable. Yet, they say it is OK till replaced. That does not make sense. Does that mean the standard and specifications were "inflated"?

The problem is not just the maker, but also the government with their double talk indicating a double standard.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Completely unacceptable. These quality control issues have implications which endanger people's lives!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I first came here I thought it was the modernest first world country in the world. After a long time here it is just another Asian country like Cambodia or Vietnam.

In what way is Japan like Cambodia or Vietnam? Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world, and among the top richest nations on per capita basis. Tokyo alone has bigger GDP than the entire country of UK. Corporate corruption is the norm in every nation where the corporations can get away with it. Japan having a massive bureaucracy makes it easy for big CEOs to get away with corruption and bribary. They definitely have a problem with the rule of law, but to put them in the same category as Cambodia or Vietnam is ridiculous. You don't become an economic superpower if you don't have good property rules and more or less stable rule of law.

By the way, ''modernest'' is not a word.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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