>> Another blow to the credibility of Japan's third largest steelmaker, as the US Justice Department asked Kobe Steel to hand over documents on products that's supplied to US companies. That request comes after a source told Reuters that data tampering was rife at Kobe for more than ten years, deepening what's already a clear cut crisis.
Kobe is now trying to nail down the extent of the tampering which according to an unsourced Nikkei reports, went on for decades with the knowledge of managers, as Reuters Aaron Sheldrick reports.>> The Nikkei reporter said that the tampering actually goes back 40 to 50 years. And it came down sort of successive generations so to speak of employees.
It even goes so far as to say that there was some sort of manual guide of doing this. Executives we've spoken to say they don't think that's the case. But again, they're trying to get handle of the situation.>> The Japanese government has ordered the company to address safety concerns within two weeks followed by a report on how the misconduct occurred.
Companies from Boeing to the operator of Japan's iconic bullet trains have been sucked into the scandal, all having bought steel products from Kobe in the past.>> It extends across the business but is mainly focused in the aluminum and copper business. The impact has been most immediately seen in the share price reaction, the company has lost about $1.6 billion of it's market value, declining 40% since the scandal broke.
>> The company has moved to reassure investors, saying it's got more than $3 billion on hand, but execs appear to know that this scandal is going to get costly. Kobe is looking to generate cash by cutting working capital, possibly even selling assets.