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Announcement of Policy Measures Titled "Toward Strengthening Quality Assurance Systems for Manufacturing Industries"

In response to recent cases of data falsification of product inspections by some manufacturers, on December 22, 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)announced policy measurers titled "Toward Strengthening Quality Assurance Systems for Manufacturing Industries."

1. Background

Regarding the recent cases of data falsification of product inspections by some manufacturers, verifying safety is the first priority and an issue that must be resolved quickly. METI continues to urge the concerned parties to take further action to complete the safety verifications.

The recent series of cases are related to the quality assurance systems of each individual company. Strengthening quality assurance systems directly relates to the competitiveness of companies. Furthermore, considering the interconnectedness of supply-chains, any issue may also affect the competitiveness of Japanese industry as a whole.

Industries must take this series of cases as an opportunity to revisit the above-mentioned issues, and take them into account in future actions; the market will evaluate the performance of the companies accordingly.

METI will provide multifaceted support for such industry efforts.

2. Summary of the measures

(1)Further improvement of internal monitoring through individual corporate initiatives and intra-industrial engagement

  • Distribute reports to adequately inform industry players of inappropriate conduct within the industry.
  • Keidanren calls on industries to conduct review of any inappropriate conduct and implement plans to prevent fraudulent activity. Japan Aluminium Association, Japan Copper and Brass Association, The Japan Rubber Manufacturers Association, and Japan Chemical Fibers Associations are considering establishing Guidelines concerning Product Quality by March 2018.

(2)Promote Connected Industries

  • Re-position quality data as a domain for cooperation and promote efforts to share such data:
    • Share best practices (ensure sufficient systems and traceability to discourage malicious actions)
    • Support efforts for intra-industrial data sharing and data sharing between supply chains (budgetary measure)
    • Introduce systems and robots that meet certain requirements that promote data collaboration and utilization, and support efforts aimed at enhanced productivity (tax measure)
    • Consider amending “Contract Guidelines on Data Utilization Rights” by summer 2018.

(3)Improve effectiveness of governance

  • Discussing approaches to improving effectiveness of “group governance,” including governance of subsidiary companies, and collecting and organizing best practices.
  • Consider amendments to the Industrial Standardization Act (JIS Act) (Add management to the JIS, and consider strengthening corporate penalties for inappropriate conduct. (Next Regular Diet Session)

 Appendix

Release date

December 22, 2017

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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