Representatives of both the Japan Accreditation Board (JAB) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have refused to respond to queries regarding the growing scandals related to Japanese companies falsifiying product testing data, which has resulted in nonconforming product and materials being used in the manufacture of aircraft and automobiles, among other end uses.

Japanese companies have been exposed as having falsified test data to allow defective products to bypass quality controls, with the Japanese steel and metals industries being the main perpetrators. In nearly every case, the Japanese company reported to have engaged in the illegal practices was certified by a Japanese ISO 9001 certification body which was then accredited by JAB, under rules monitored by the IAF.

The companies include Koyo Seiki, NGK Insulators, Nakayama Steel Works, Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Kobe Steel, Hitachi Chemical, Mitsubishi Cable Industries, Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., Toray Hybrid Cord, Asahi Kasei and Kubota Corp. The companies all received ISO 9001 certification from one of four Japanese CBs: JIC Quality Assurance, Japanese Standards Association, Japan Quality Assurance Organization, or Japan Chemical Quality Assurance. All four of those companies are accredited by JAB.

Oxebridge has contacted multiple senior executives with JAB, including Shinjiro Fujimaki, Kishino Fuminori, Yoshinobu Uemasiu and Masahiko Murakawa. In addition, the IAF was contacted. None have replied, despite evidence of the contact having been received.

Only in some of the cases were the certificates suspended temporarily, and only after the scandals were reported in mainstream industry press. In other cases, the certificates have remained in effect, despite the scandals.

The pattern of scandals has impacted on Japanese manufacturing and the Japanese economy, and resulted in arrests and losses in the billions of dollars for individual companies.

The ISO certificates issued by the CBs under the JAB logo claim the companies fully comply with ISO 9001, which requires that inspection data be accurate. It is therefore not possible that the companies could maintain ISO 9001 certification under such conditions.

JAB is paid by the CBs it accredits, and de-accrediting any single CB would result in a large loss of annual revenue for the accreditation body. Likewise, the CBs are paid by clients like Kobe Steel, reducing the incentive to de-certify them even when found engaged in criminal activities.

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