Asahi Kasei: Construction data faked in 266 cases

Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp., responsible for faulty building work at a tilting condominium complex in Yokohama, said at a press conference Friday afternoon that it has finished examining 2,376 of the 3,040 piling work projects it undertook around the country in the last 10 years and found data fabrication in 266 of them.

"We apologise again for causing trouble and worry for those concerned," said Tomihiro Maeda, president of the company in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, appearing with Masahito Hirai, vice president of its parent company Asahi Kasei Corp., at the press conference.

Maeda said that more than 50 of its construction site supervisors, including one responsible for the Yokohama case, were found to have been involved in data tampering.

The construction site supervisors told the company that they manipulated data on piling work because they lost data printouts or failed to obtain accurate data due to malfunctions of measuring instruments, according to the company.

The companies held the press conference after they reported the investigation results to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.

According to Maeda, 602 of the 2,376 piling work projects are related to construction of school, hospital and welfare buildings. Data fabrication was discovered in 63 of the 602 projects.

The ministry on Oct. 23 told Asahi Kasei Construction Materials to inspect the 3,040 piling work projects it undertook, including piling work for the Yokohama condominium complex, and to report the results to it by Friday. Following the instruction, Asahi Kasei Construction Materials reexamined reports on construction work in co-operation with prime contractors and sales companies of each construction project.

However, its investigations have become heavy going because of the great number of piling work projects it undertook. On Friday, the company could report to the ministry only about the cases it could complete investigations on.

The companies said they were still investigating jointly with prime contractors whether data were fabricated or not in 546 of the 3,040 projects and would be able to report their results to the ministry by Nov. 24.

The companies failed to determine which companies were prime contractors or find construction data in 118 cases.

However, none of the buildings in the 266 data fabrication cases discovered by the company, except in the Yokohama case, were found to have flaws such as tilting or cracks.