Koga Says! Statement on the Scandal over Falsification of Earthquake Resistance Data
26 April 2006
Former architect Hidetsugu Aneha, Moriyoshi Kimura, former president of Kimura Construction Co. and others were arrested in connection with a scandal over the fabrication of data about the earthquake resistance strength of buildings as well as building inspection companies in the private sector that condoned the falsification.
In Japan where earthquakes are common, this is an extremely vicious incident in which the suspects designed, constructed, and sold condominiums and hotels of in a condition where they might be leveled at any time. This not only threatens the lives of those residents living in those defective condominiums but also the lives of many other citizens. Sacrificing the safety of our citizen’s residences through such criminal wrongdoings as this is something that we can never allow. RENGO demands that investigators conduct a thorough investigation into the overall causes of this incident.
Amid the current trend to shift "from the public to the private sector" we have seen an increase in the relaxation of regulations and, similarly, building inspection procedures were also opened up to private companies. However, this scandal awakened the people’s fears and distrust over the relaxation of regulations that companies which prioritize profit and efficiency used to sacrifice the safety of our citizen’s residences and revealed that the safeguards meant to prevent such situations did not work properly.
A media report revealed that a political organization tied to Liberal Democratic Party member and former Director General of the National Land Agency Kosuke Ito, who introduced President Susumu Ojima of the condominium development company Huser Management Ltd. to executive officials in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, received a large political donation from Huser Ltd. and that Ojima had met with a secretary of Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe. If allegations that the structural collusion of companies and administrative/political parties is true, it is inexcusable and the Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties must vigorously pursue them in the Diet.
RENGO is actively speaking out at the Basic System Division within the Infrastructure Development Council ? an advisory board to the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport ? and proposing that supervision of construction approval and drastic fortification of punitive measures, along with legal/system revision in order to prevent similar incidents from recurring. RENGO will continue to pursue thorough debate in the Diet with the government and each political party so that our citizens may take back their residences as places where they may live happily, pleasantly, and in peace.