Police questioned the head of a Tokyo-based consulting company on a voluntary basis Wednesday over a fraud case involving a hotel in Nara Prefecture built with fake earthquake-safety data, investigation sources said.
It is the first time police have questioned Takeshi Uchikawa, 72, head of General Management Consultant, since the quake-resistance data falsification scandal broke in November, even though his firm was named around that time as among major players in the affair.
Kimura Construction Co. President Moriyoshi Kimura, 74, and Mitsuo Morishita, 51, former managing director of the company, were arrested last week on suspicion of receiving part of the construction fees for Sun Hotel in Nara even though they knew the building was designed with fabricated data provided by disgraced architect Hidetsugu Aneha.
General Management provided consultations for the construction of Sun Hotel.
A chief consultant had urged those involved in constructing the hotel to reduce the amount of reinforcing steel. It was this sort of instruction, police suspect, that led to Aneha’s quake-resistance fabrications.
Police were believed to have questioned Uchikawa on when he became aware of Aneha’s fabrications, and on details about the building methods recommended by General Management to reduce construction costs.
According to investigators, the now-defunct Kimura Construction had about 225 million yen remitted into a bank account Nov. 7 from the owner of Sun Hotel as part of the payment for building the inn.
The Nov. 17 announcement of the fabricated data forced the hotel to close Nov. 25.
The remittance was requested by General Management, which later received part of the 225 million yen from Kimura Construction as consulting fees.
Established in 1971, General Management reported 250 million yen in profit on sales of about 1.3 billion yen in the business year ended November 2005, according to a credit research agency.