• Kyodo News


Prosecutors on Tuesday urged the Tokyo District Court to sentence Hidetsugu Aneha to five years in prison and fine him 1.8 million yen for fabricating earthquake-resistance data for six buildings.

Aneha “rampantly fabricated earthquake-resistance data, allowing hazardous buildings to be built,” one of the prosecutors said in closing. “The unprecedented consequences of exposing many human lives to danger and causing great anxiety in society are grave and it is necessary to impose the penalty of a prison term without a suspension.”

The prosecution has argued that the 49-year-old Aneha fabricated structural engineering data for four condominiums and two hotels between February 2003 and February 2005, resulting in buildings being constructed with substandard quake resistance.

Aneha is also charged with perjury, for lying to the House of Representatives Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee last December about when he started fabricating data.

He additionally faces a charge for having allowed architectural designer Mikio Akiba to use of his name as a licensed architect, a violation of the registered architect law.

Prosecutors asked the court Tuesday to sentence 46-year-old Akiba, on trial with Aneha, to one year and two months in prison for doing design work and supervising building construction without a license.

Aneha has pleaded guilty to fabricating the quake-resistance data for the six buildings. Prosecutors said at the opening of the trial in September that he faked the data for 99 buildings from around October 1996 until 2005.

The fabrication was first suspected to have been organized fraud involving construction companies and others, but investigators concluded Aneha acted alone.

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