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October 18, 2018

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False data for quake parts an unreal shock

A COMPANY supplying equipment to protect major buildings in Japan from earthquakes has admitted falsifying data.

Tokyo-based parts maker KYB and its unit Kayaba System Machinery falsified data linked to so-called “oil dampers,” which are used in nearly 1,000 buildings across Japan.

The ministry declined to name buildings affected but local media reported they may include the Tokyo Skytree — one of the world’s tallest buildings at 634 meters — as well as the Tokyo local government’s headquarters.

The ministry has instructed the companies involved to change affected parts as soon as possible and to investigate why the data manipulation happened.

But it insisted that buildings using the parts would still withstand even a quake at the top end of the Japanese seismic intensity scale — in which “it is impossible to remain standing” and “people may be thrown through the air.”

The shock absorbers are part of a complex system fitted in many Japanese buildings as part of the country’s earthquake preparedness.

They are meant to function in tandem with systems built into the foundations to isolate the effects of quakes.

The earthquake systems allow big buildings to sway slightly as they absorb some seismic waves.

“We have ordered (the companies) to investigate,” a ministry official said.


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