Friday, November 25, 2005

More Fallout from the Aneha Scandal

Thirteen condos are to be demolished, and four hotels have stopped operations following revelations of falsified structural reports (see previous post). Meanwhile, Kimura Construction, the builder of many of the projects in question, has gone into bankruptcy. The Japan Times writes:

The builder emphasized lower costs and faster construction to win condo and hotel construction bids in the Tokyo area and posted 12.7 billion yen in sales for the year that ended in June.
... Kimura denied that his firm had ever pressured Aneha, but added that he had nothing but anger toward the architect's office.

The blame game is now in full swing. For his part, Aneha had complained that the false reports were produced under pressure from the construction company to cut costs.
Meanwhile, the Yomiuri Shimbun pointed out a critical loophole in the building-permit system: architects are allowed to choose which company to use for the required regulatory checks of their building plans.

Concerning the entry of private companies into the inspection service business, a senior Construction and Transport Ministry official said: "We had hoped that companies that conduct accurate and speedy inspections would be highly evaluated as a result of competition among private companies. But in reality, it was found that agencies that conducted strict inspections were avoided, and those that quickly passed plans were more popular, making big profits. The system didn't work properly."

I think at least one aspect of the system worked - the violations did come to light, and not after a disaster (as is often the case in other countries). At the end of the day, I hope, the system will be improved, which is all the better for building safety.

News stories linked to above are archived here.

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姉歯 木村建設


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