Seventeen Japanese Paper Makers Falsified Recycled Content Claims

Jan. 30, 2008 - The Japan Paper Association on Jan 25 said that 17 of its 38 member companies, including industry leaders Oji Paper Co. and Nippon Paper Group Inc., had falsely stated ratios of used paper contained in their products sold as recycled paper.

In a statement, the industry association claimed that a shortage of high-quality used paper led the companies, which placed product quality over complying with standards, to falsify data.

"We regret that so many companies were involved in the falsification," said Shoichiro Suzuki, chairman of the association. Suzuki spoke at a news conference following the first meeting of a committee set up by the industry body to devise measures to prevent further recycling data fraud.

"We intend to do our utmost to restore consumer trust as soon as possible," said Suzuki, who concurrently acts as Oji's chairman.

In a related development, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry called on domestic papermakers Friday to correct or remove recycling symbols on products if the amounts of used paper contained in them are less than claimed.

The ministry asked the Japan Paper Association and three other paper industry groups to do their best to properly inform consumers.

The ministry said it has also urged papermakers to work closely with retailers and other business partners with stockpiles of the falsely labeled recycled products and to review current contracts with them if necessary.

SOURCE: The Japan Times

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