• Kyodo News


Prosecutors demanded an 18-month prison sentence Wednesday for a former senior official of Kimura Construction Co. who allegedly falsified a financial report for the firm, which was caught up in the shoddy building scandal that broke last fall over faked earthquake-proofing data on condominium complexes and hotels it built.

Prosecutors argued that Akira Shinozuka, 45, who headed the Tokyo branch of the now-defunct Kimura Construction, bears a heavy responsibility because, as the firm’s No. 2 official, he falsified the company’s financial report, in violation of the construction business law.

The Tokyo District Court will rule on the case on Nov. 1.

Shinozuka has pleaded not guilty to involvement in faking the financial report to the land ministry in order to get the company’s construction license renewed.

He has said Kimura Construction was a “one-man company” run by President Moriyoshi Kimura and claimed he did not collude with Kimura to doctor the financial report because he was not involved in management.

Kimura, 74, appeared as a prosecution witness at Wednesday’s trial session, testifying that Shinozuka knew about the window-dressing.

According to the indictment, Shinozuka conspired with Kimura to submit the faked balance sheet to the Kyushu development bureau of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry in September 2004.

Based on the financial report, the bureau renewed the company’s business license in June 2005, the indictment said.

The charges Shinozuka faces are not directly related to the earthquake-resistance data scandal that ensnared architect Hidetsugu Aneha.

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