Mitsubishi Materials president to step down

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Mitsubishi Materials Corp. said Monday that President Akira Takeuchi will resign to take responsibility for a product quality scandal.

Vice President Naoki Ono, 61, will succeed Takeuchi, 63, after a general shareholders meeting on June 22.

The decisions came after the major nonferrous metal maker admitted last week its direct involvement in product quality misconduct. Before that, the scandal was limited to group companies.

Takeuchi will become chairman without the right to represent the company.

In a statement, Takeuchi said that he decided to reshuffle the management team in order to clarify the management responsibility for quality-related problems and that as chairman he will work on strengthening the group’s corporate governance structure.

But his continued presence in the management team may draw criticism, observers said.

On Friday, Mitsubishi Materials said its refinery in Kagawa Prefecture shipped copper slag aggregate, a concrete material, as a product that met Japanese Industrial Standards without conducting sufficient quality checks.

The announcement followed a series of quality data manipulations that first came to light at Mitsubishi Materials group companies in November last year.

In March this year, Mitsubishi Materials released an investigative report on the scandal and worked out preventive measures. Takeuchi denied he intended to step down, while announcing his decision to receive no pay for three months.

On the misconduct revealed last week, Mitsubishi Materials said Monday that Senior Managing Executive Officer Yasunobu Suzuki and Executive Officer Tetsuro Sakai will return 30 percent and 10 percent of their pay, respectively, for three months from July, while the head of the refinery in question, Koji Ikezawa, will be dismissed as of Friday.Speech

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