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Keidanren chief issues apology on Toray issue

Jiji Press

Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara speaks with reporters at the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, who is from Toray Industries Inc., apologized on Wednesday over quality data falsification at a subsidiary of the major textile maker.

“I’m really sorry as Keidanren chairman and Toray senior adviser,” Sakakibara told reporters at the Finance Ministry.

It was the first apology by Sakakibara in front of reporters since the scandal came to light on Tuesday.

Quality control managers of Toray Hybrid Cord Inc., based in Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, tampered with data so that products could satisfy the quality requirements of client companies, Toray said Tuesday. There were 149 cases of data manipulation at the subsidiary for some products between April 2008 and July 2016.

The data falsification occurred when Sakakibara was serving as Toray president and chairman.

Sakakibara said he was “not aware” of the wrongdoing at the time, but he added that he takes seriously the fact that the problem happened when he held the company’s top posts.

After detecting the problem, Toray did not disclose it for 16 months.

On this delay, Sakakibara said he respects the management’s decision to put first priority on customer support.

At a press conference on Monday, Sakakibara called on member companies of Keidanren, the nation’s biggest business lobby, to thoroughly implement measures to strengthen corporate governance, following recent quality data falsification scandals at Japanese manufacturers.

Sakakibara learned about the scandal at Toray from company executives just after the press conference.

He described the scandal as “extremely regrettable” and said he feels deeply embarrassed.Speech

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