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    Government to pay in Aneha scandal

    Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Kazuo Kitagawa has made an announcement about the Aneha scandal:

    Regarding the earthquake resistance falsification scandal, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Kazuo Kitagawa announced on 4 December that he is investigating a plan to have federal and prefectural-level government bodies bear the entire burden of paying for the demolition of condominium complexes known to have insufficient earthquake resistance. His reasoning was that “there is also a danger to residents in surrounding buildings, so [the demolition] has a prominent public interest dimension.” He related this to the press corps this morning after a television appearance.

    Kitagawa explained that the reason for public assistance in this case was that “assessing who bears responsibility among the developers and other parties requires time, and we cannot wait that long.”

    Some of the affected residents have already organized a group so they can share information and possibly negotiate collectively. Kitagawa isn’t kidding about the danger to the neighbors, BTW; the catastrophic 1999 Taiwan earthquake saw several large, modern buildings tip over.

    Oh, yeah, and just in case you’re not already rattled enough over this whole mess, check this out:

    The architecture firm that designed one of the buildings for which disgraced architect Hidetsugu Aneha faked strength reports says it met directly with the building companies to warn them about Aneha in early 2004, but was ignored.

    The Kanagawa Prefecture-based design company, and Atlas Sekkei, the architectural firm in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward asked to check Aneha’s structural-strength reports, said they spotted irregularities in those reports.

    The Kanagawa design firm said it had a meeting with Kumamoto-based Kimura Construction Co. and Tokyo-based consulting firm Sogo Keiei Kenkyujo (Soken) in early 2004 to point out the problems.

    But the two firms did nothing. Both Kimura Construction and Soken continued to commission work to Aneha, leading to the construction of a string of defective hotels and condominiums.

    The latest revelation directly contradicts what officials at Kimura and Soken have said.

    2 Responses to “Government to pay in Aneha scandal”

    1. Chris_B says:

      Government pays == we the taxpayers pay. Nice going Nagatacho

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      That’s true, but I do think that this particular instance involves the sort of safety net that’s not just welfare statism run amok. We’re talking about a physical danger to citizens that was very real and that they could have had no reasonable way of knowing they were putting themselves in. The pity is that money can’t be commandeered from the liquid assets of everyone who signed off on those fraudulent structural integrity reports.

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