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神户制钢所伪造数据,日本制造业声誉再受损

更新时间:2017-10-11 18:54:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Kobe Steel’s Falsified Data Is Another Blow to Japan’s Reputation
神户制钢所伪造数据,日本制造业声誉再受损

TOKYO — For decades, Japanese manufacturers of cars, aircraft and bullet trains have relied on Kobe Steel to provide raw materials for their products, making the steel maker a crucial, if largely invisible, pillar of the economy.

东京——几十年来,日本的汽车、飞机和子弹列车制造商都在使用神户制钢所(Kobe Steel)提供的原材料,这家钢铁制造商成为了一个至关重要的,但基本上是隐形的经济支柱。

Now, Kobe Steel has acknowledged falsifying data about the quality of aluminum and copper it sold, setting off a scandal that is reverberating through Japan and beyond, and casting a new shadow over the country’s reputation for precision manufacturing, a mainstay of its economy.

现在,神户制钢所承认它在铝和铜产品的质量上伪造数据,这桩丑闻在日本和其他地区发酵,给该国精密制造业的声誉蒙上了一层新的阴影,精密制造业是日本的一个主要经济支柱。

Companies ranging from the automakers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor to aircraft companies like Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry said they were investigating the use of rolled aluminum and other materials from Kobe in their products. They also said they were trying to determine if substandard materials had been used in their products and, if so, whether they presented safety hazards.

从丰田汽车(Toyota Motor)、本田汽车(Honda Motor)这样的汽车制造商,到波音(Boeing)和三菱重工(Mitsubishi Heavy Industry)这样的飞机公司都表示,正在调查自己的产品中使用神户制钢所出品的轧制铝及其他材料的情况。它们还表示,他们正试图确定自己的产品中是否使用了不合标准的材料,如果是的话,是否会造成安全隐患。

Kobe Steel said on Sunday that employees at four of its factories had altered inspection certificates on aluminum and copper products from September 2016 to August this year. The changes, it said, made it look as if the products met manufacturing specifications required by customers — including for vital qualities like tensile strength — when they did not.

神户制钢所周日表示,从2016年9月到今年8月,其四家工厂的员工篡改了铝和铜产品的检验证书。公司说,篡改是为了让产品看起来好像是满足了客户提出的制造规格,包括抗拉强度等重要性能。

Kobe Steel added that it was examining other possible episodes of data falsification going back 10 years. It did not provide details about the size of the discrepancies it had discovered, making it difficult to immediately determine if they posed a safety threat.

神户制钢所还表示,他们正在检查可以追溯到十年之前的其他数据伪造事件。公司没有透露它发现的数据出入的大小,所以很难立即判断这是否会对安全构成威胁。

The company’s share price plunged more than 20 percent on Tuesday, the first day of trading after a holiday.

星期二是一个假期后的第一个交易日,该公司的股价暴跌了20%多。

No deaths or safety incidents have been attributed to Kobe Steel, but the scandal hits a tender spot for Japan, which relies on its reputation for quality manufacturing while places like China offer cheaper alternatives.

目前还没有任何死亡或安全事故被归咎于神户制钢所,但这个丑闻却击中日本的一个软肋:在和中国等提供低价替代品的地方竞争时,日本依靠的是它在制造业中的优质声誉。

“The falsification problem has become an issue that could destroy international faith in Japanese manufacturing,” the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei said in an article on Tuesday.

“伪造问题已经成为了一个可能破坏日本制造业国际信誉的问题。”日本财经媒体《日经新闻》周二在一篇文章中说。

Last week, Nissan Motor said unqualified staff members had carried out inspections at its factories, prompting it to recall 1.2 million vehicles, though it was not clear if the quality of the vehicles had been affected. Mitsubishi Motors and Suzuki Motor both admitted last year that they had been exaggerating the fuel economy of their vehicles by cheating on tests.

上周,日产汽车(Nissan Motor)公司表示,因为质检人员缺不合格,需要召回120万辆汽车,但车辆的质量是否受到影响尚不清楚。三菱汽车(Mitsubishi Motors)和铃木汽车(Suzuki Motor)去年都承认,他们在检测中通过作弊来夸大汽车的燃油经济性。

Perhaps the biggest blow to Japan’s reputation for quality has come from Takata, the automotive airbag maker that declared bankruptcy in June after causing the largest auto safety recall in history, involving tens of millions of vehicles. Its faulty airbags have been blamed for more than a dozen deaths.

也许对日本质量声誉打击最大的就是高田(Takata)事件了,这家汽车安全气囊制造商造成史上最大的汽车安全召回事件,数以千万计的汽车受到影响,之后该公司在今年6月份宣布破产。据信,它的安全气囊问题已造成了10多人死亡。

Toshiaki Oguchi, director of Governance for Owners Japan, a corporate watchdog, said that Japanese companies were generally diligent about quality, but that when cheating occurs — because of competitive pressure or other factors — it can too easily go unchecked. That, he said, is because companies discourage thorough examination or criticism, either from employees or independent outsiders.

企业监督机构——日本所有者协会(Governance for Owners Japan)主管小口寿明(Toshiaki Oguchi,音)表示,日本公司一般都很重视质量,但是出现作弊情况的时候——由于竞争压力或其他因素的影响——很容易不受约束。他说,这是因为企业会阻拦彻底的检查和批评,不管它们是来自员工还是独立的外部人士。

“When something goes wrong, companies always hire a committee of outsiders to examine what happened,” he said. “But why not be proactive? Why not have people reviewing procedures all the time?”

“当有出现问题时,公司总是聘请外部委员会来调查发生了什么事情,”他说,“但为什么不主动一点?为什么不自始自终进行检查?”

Even as Japan has given up its technological lead in technologies like televisions, cellphones and computers, it still excels in highly valued products used behind the scenes, including precision machinery, specialty chemicals, sensors and cameras.

即使日本在电视、手机和计算机等科技领域不再是技术领头羊,但日本仍然擅长生产一些用于非消费类型领域的高价值产品,包括精密机械、特种化学品、传感器和照相机等。

Quality helps Japan preserve its markets overseas despite intense competition. For example, although China is the world’s largest steel maker, iron and steel remain one of Japan’s biggest exports there, where it is used in industries like auto manufacturing.

质量帮助日本在激烈的竞争中保住了海外市场。例如,虽然中国是世界上最大的钢铁生产国,但钢铁仍然是日本对华出口最多的产品之一,它们被用在中国的汽车制造等行业中。

Kobe Steel said it had confirmed data falsification affecting roughly 19,300 tons of flat-rolled and extruded aluminum products, 19,400 units of aluminum casting and forgings, and 2,200 tons of copper products. The amount represents about 4 percent of the company’s output of those products from September 2016 to August 2017.

神户制钢所表示,他们已经确认的伪造数据涉及约1.93万吨平轧铝和挤压铝产品,1.94万个铝铸件和锻件,以及2200吨铜产品,总的来说占该公司2016年9月至2017年8月产品产量的4%左右。

It said “tens” of employees and managers had been directly involved in the falsification, although no penalties against the employees were immediately announced. The company’s investigation is still underway.

该公司说,有“几十名”员工和管理人员直接参与了伪造活动,不过没有立即宣布对员工的处罚。公司的调查还在进行中。

Japan’s industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, criticized Kobe Steel for what he called “inappropriate behavior that distorts the fundamentals for fair trade.”

日本的经济产业大臣世耕弘成(Hiroshige Seko)对神户制钢所这种“扭曲公平交易基本面的不当行为”进行了谴责。

Kobe Steel said that it had received no reports from customers of problems with the affected products, and that the falsification was discovered during an internal review. Kobe Steel said the improperly certified metals had been shipped to about 200 companies, but it declined to reveal their names.

神户制钢所表示,他们并没有从客户那里收到过有关受影响产品出问题的报告,而是在内部审查中发现了伪造行为。神户制钢所表示,没有经过正当检验的金属产品已运往了约200家公司,但拒绝透露这些公司的名字。

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