Research by academics from two major universities has come into question after data from a notably strong earthquake in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, was found to contain errors, according to a person involved.

The science ministry is looking into whether quake-strength data collected by the team of researchers from Osaka University and Kyoto University was falsified or fabricated due to inconsistencies with other readings taken nearby.

The researchers removed the data in question from a website where it had been posted in July 2016.