The Cabinet approved a package of bills Friday from the infrastructure ministry that feature a provision to toughen the maximum penalty for architects and builders who erect defective buildings.
The bills to revise the Building Standard Law and three other laws are expected to be submitted to the Diet during the ongoing session.
The government aims to implement the measures within a year of their enactment in response to continuing revelations that firms have falsified buildings’ quake-resistance data.
Under the current Building Standard Law, the heaviest penalty for those who erect dangerous buildings is a 500,000 yen fine with no prison term.
The bills drafted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will revise the Building Standard Law to impose a maximum fine of 3 million yen or a three-year prison term on architects and others who have erected buildings that are not structurally safe.
In addition, companies that violate building standards will receive a maximum 100 million yen fine without going through administrative procedures to correct violations.
The package also targets the architect law to add a new penalty of a maximum 1 million yen fine or one-year prison term on architects who fabricate structural calculations in designing buildings.
A revision in the realty transaction business law makes it mandatory for sellers to tell to customers whether the seller or construction firm has an insurance policy to cover the cost of rebuilding or reinforcement should defects be found.
Real estate agents who lie to clients or deliberately hide important facts from them about buildings before concluding contracts will receive a maximum 3 million yen fine or two-year prison term, while violating companies will receive a maximum 100 million yen fine.
A revision in the construction business law stipulates that construction companies must exchange, in writing, details of their insurance policies with builders when signing contracts.