Shimadzu Medical Systems employee installed device to trigger malfunction of X-ray equipment

OSAKA — Precision instruments manufacturer Shimadzu Corp. has revealed that an employee of one of its subsidiaries intentionally installed a device to trigger malfunctions in X-ray equipment at five medical institutions, including a public hospital, in Kumamoto Prefecture.

An employee of Shimadzu Medical Systems Corp.’s Kumamoto sales office installed a digital switch that closes a circuit, disabling X-ray equipment after a certain period of time, during maintenance inspections from 2016 to 2018, the Osaka-based manufacturer said Friday.

The employee charged the facilities for replacing parts, claiming the malfunction was a mechanical failure. Repair costs totaled ¥7.5 million to ¥10 million.

Shimadzu plans to compensate the medical institutions and consider measures to prevent recurrences of such cases.

The scam was revealed by a whistleblower in late April and the company confirmed the details by interviewing the employee in question and investigating the person’s activity records.

The employee has been placed on leave, and the company is considering disciplinary measures.

The firm has established an external committee consisting of lawyers and others to investigate the matter.

“We are taking the issue very seriously and will make efforts to regain trust,” a Shimadzu official said.