In an effort to save time and avoid delays in building processes, Tokyo-based hydraulics firm KYB has reportedly admitted to manipulating earthquake safety data for almost 100 buildings across the Asian nation, including venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Per a press release published on the company’s site, the outfit admits systematically doctoring data for hydraulic oil dampers aimed at reducing shaking during earthquakes. The Olympic Aquatic Center, site for competitive swimming at the next Summer Games, is reportedly one of the sites that has the faulty KYB earthquake shock absorbers installed within its infrastructure. The landmark Tokyo Skytree Tower is another notable building using possibly faulty KYB products.
Of the revelation, Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui said, “It shows a decline in corporate ethics. I want (the company) to recognize that data falsification could put people’s lives at risk.”
Kyodo News reports that, “although Japan’s infrastructure ministry said there was no risk that the affected buildings could collapse, even if they are hit by a quake at the top of Japan’s seismic intensity scale, it plans to order 88 makers of quake absorption devices in the country to report by year-end whether similar misconduct occurred.”
An external commission is being assembled to explore the misconduct, while KYB says it will replace the affected devices.
Japan resides along the infamous ‘Ring of Fire’, a 25,000 mile arc laden with earthquake and volcano-prone areas. Last month the Japanese island of Hokkaido was hit with a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in which 39 people died.