TOKYO, May 29, 2018 — Ube Industries, Ltd. today released a statement regarding the discovery of certification non-conformities for ready-mix concrete manufactured by Kanto Ube Concrete Co., Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Ube Industries. The non-conformities concern certification by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in accordance with the Building Standards Act, and certification for Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS), details of which are outlined below. Ube Industries deeply regrets the inconvenience and concern caused to customers and other stakeholders as a result of this incident.
Kanto Ube Concrete Co., Ltd. manufactures ready-mix concrete using limestone aggregate supplied by Ube Material Industries, Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Ube Industries.
Kanto Ube Concrete operates four plants that manufacture MLIT and JIS-certified ready-mix concrete specified to use aggregate sourced from the Isa Mine in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. At a certain point in time, Ube Material Industries switched from supplying the Isa-sourced aggregate to supplying an aggregate mixture that included aggregate of equivalent quality sourced from a region other than Mine City.
In November 2017, Kanto Ube Concrete acknowledged the mixed aggregate when it was reported by Ube Material Industries. However, Kanto Ube Concrete continued to ship ready-mix concrete manufactured using the mixed-source aggregate through April 2018, when all aggregate reverted back to Isa-sourced aggregate.
In light of the events, Kanto Ube Concrete received notification on May 11 from a JIS certification body, requesting the company to voluntarily refrain from applying JIS certification for JIS-certified products. Kanto Ube Concrete subsequently suspended shipments of JIS-certified ready-mix concrete starting from May 14.
The mixed-source aggregate supplied to Kanto Ube Concrete from Ube Material Industries is widely used by other ready-mix concrete plants to manufacture MLIT- and JIS-certified ready-mix concrete. Kanto Ube Concrete has conducted suitable acceptance inspections for aggregate and product inspections for ready-mix concrete, and has concluded that the quality of its ready-mix concrete was not compromised.
For more details, please refer to the statement issued by Kanto Ube Concrete.
In order to restart shipments of JIS-certified products and begin applying JIS certification again at an early point, Kanto Ube Concrete is responding to the request for an investigation by the JIS certification body. Additionally, Ube Material Industries will take steps to tighten its compliance, and the entire UBE Group will implement recurrence prevention measures and seek to restore public trust.
At the present time, Ube Industries expects the incident to have minimal impact on its consolidated earnings.