See More on Facebook

Economics, Environment

Japanese partsmaker fabricated earthquake shock-absorber data

The government says buildings with parts will still withstand severe earthquakes.


Written by

Updated: October 18, 2018

Parts maker KYB Corp. and a subsidiary falsified the inspection data of oil-type base-isolation and vibration dampers (see below) manufactured by the companies and used nationwide at such facilities as city halls and hospitals, the government has said.

According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, KYB and Kayaba System Machinery Co., both based in Minato Ward, Tokyo, shipped products that did not meet the ministry’s standards. The data falsification may have continued for almost 20 years, the ministry said Tuesday.

The products, including the ones currently being investigated to confirm falsification, were reportedly used in 986 cases, including condominiums, hospitals and city halls.

The ministry said these buildings are not in danger of collapsing even in an earthquake of around 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. Nevertheless, both companies have been ordered to quickly replace the affected products and find out the cause of the falsification.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

Data was falsified on oil-type base-isolation and vibration dampers manufactured from March 2000 until last month, according to the ministry and KYB. The oil dampers were manufactured by KYB from 2000 to 2007, and by Kayaba from 2007 onward. A total of 7,550 of the base-isolation dampers are in use at 903 locations, and 3,378 vibration dampers at 83. The misconduct has already been confirmed in 410 of the 986 cases. The remaining cases are currently being investigated.

The data that was falsified concerned tolerance to shaking. Products that did not meet standards set by the ministry or client companies in performance testing should have been disassembled and readjusted until the data fell within the accepted range. However, the data was fabricated and submitted as test results.

In early August, a Kayaba employee reported suspicions of data falsification to a superior. Kayaba reported this to KYB, which launched an investigation, and on Sept. 19 told the ministry.

Both firms said that the testing was a one-person job. At least eight workers have admitted being involved in falsifying data, which dates back to 2000, the companies said. Data was falsified for reasons such as “to meet delivery deadlines.”

By prefecture, the largest number of affected buildings is in Tokyo at 250, followed by Osaka Prefecture at 107, Aichi Prefecture at 93 and Kanagawa Prefecture at 71.

By building type, 265 were residences, 175 were offices, 159 were welfare or medical institutions, and 109 were government buildings.

“We deeply regret that inappropriate acts were continually carried out,” KYB Chairman and President Yasusuke Nakajima said at a Tuesday press conference in Tokyo attended by both companies.

According to a private credit investigation firm, KYB was established in 1948. Its main business is manufacturing hydraulic and pneumatic equipment. In the fiscal year ending in March this year, the company logged about ¥199.3 billion in sales.

Kayaba is a wholly owned subsidiary of KYB, logging about ¥8.9 billion in sales in the same period.

Suspect parts used at some 2020 venues

In connection with the falsified inspection data scandal surrounding oil dampers manufactured by KYB Corp. and its subsidiary Kayaba System Machinery Co., products suspected of not meeting required standards have been used in the construction of some venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Wednesday.

Such suspect products have been used at the Olympic Aquatics Center and the Ariake Arena, sources said. The two facilities are both under construction in Koto Ward, Tokyo, by the Tokyo metropolitan government for the 2020 Games.

The metropolitan government will confirm whether the situation poses any safety problems through the company in charge of construction. It also plans to replace the parts with new oil dampers.

The Olympic Aquatic Center will host swimming, and Ariake Arena will host volleyball, among other events, in 2020.

“[The incident] could negatively affect the schedule of the construction of the venues. We’d like to take urgent action on this matter,” an official of the metropolitan government said.

Oil dampers

Piston-like devices that use the viscosity of oil to soften shocks and vibrations. Oil-type base-isolation dampers are installed in basements, along with base-isolation rubber and other devices, and they help to prevent the building from shaking. Vibration dampers are installed diagonally, such as between the posts of a building.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics, Environment

South Korea urges region to embrace multilateralism, free trade

Wide gap remains after bilateral meeting of Kang and Kono. The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan remained at odds in their bilateral meeting held in China on Wednesday, reiterating their respective stances on Tokyo’s wartime forced labor and trade curbs. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, met for 35 minutes on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting with their Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Gubei Water Town near the Great Wall in northern Beijing. “Kang strongly urged Kono to retract the country’s decision to remove South Korea from its “whitelist” of countries with fast-track trade status u


By The Korea Herald
August 22, 2019

Economics, Environment

China to impose sanctions on US firms over Taiwan arms sales

The US have approved the sale of F16 fighter jets to Taiwan. China on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned arms sales to Taiwan, saying China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests including imposing sanctions on US companies involved in the planned sales. The US Defense Department on Wednesday officially notified the US Congress of the plan to sell 66 F-16 fighters and relevant equipment worth around US$8 billion to Taiwan and to provide support. “China firmly opposes the plan and has lodged solemn representations and protests to the US side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing. ALSO READ: 


By China Daily
August 22, 2019

Economics, Environment

Thai CEO sentenced to six months in jail over poaching rifles

The conviction is a rare victory for the conservation movement in Thailand. Italian Thai Development president Premchai Kannasutra has been sentenced to a non-suspended six-month imprisonment for carrying hunting rifles in an infamous case in which a black panther was poached in a national park in February of last year. The construction tycoon admitted to the charge in a Criminal Court session today (August 20), in which the judges sentenced him to a one-year prison term, before halving it due to his confessing to the crime. Premchai was in possession of two hunting rifles and a homemade one when apprehended, according to an investigation report of Thong Pha Phum police in Kanchanaburi province. Despite offers made on Premchai’s behalf by his defence attorney, the court refused his request for a suspended imprisonment, citing his convictions in two separate trials, both of which involve the poaching c


By The Nation (Thailand)
August 21, 2019

Economics, Environment

Seoul reviews military intel-sharing pact with Japan

Koreans divided on GSOMIA as the deadline for renewal emerges on Saturday. Nearly six decades have passed since South Korea and Japan signed a treaty to normalize diplomatic ties in 1965, but their relationship has been fraught since then with continued bitterness over the history of Korea’s colonization. Now, as the relationship of the “frenemies” hits a new low with a budding trade war, Seoul has hinted at scrapping a military intel-sharing pact with Tokyo. But while South Koreans are unified in denouncing Japan’s increased controls on exports to South Korea, opinions are split over whether it is appropriate to use the military informati


By The Korea Herald
August 21, 2019

Economics, Environment

Ho Chi Minh attracts nearly 4 billion USD in investment in 2019

Manufacturing and textiles among key sectors. HCM City attracted about US$3.63 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the first seven months of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of 15.2 per cent, according to the municipal People’s Committee. Nearly $688.8 million came from 678 newly registered projects, up 26.9 per cent in value and 18.3 per cent in the number of projects from the same period last year. In the period, 2,668 foreign investors bought shares and acquired stakes of domestic enterprises with total registered capital of $2.6 billion, 28.3 per cent and 16.7 per cent higher respectively than in the same period last year. Meanwhile, HCM City granted business licences to 24,529 new domestic enterprises worth more than VND396 trillion ($17 billion), up 0.9 per cent and 25.7 per cent, respectively. Up to 71,874 existing enterprises were allowed to add a c


By Viet Nam News
August 20, 2019

Economics, Environment

Seoul summons Japanese envoy over radioactive water disposal plan

Concerns over Fukushima discharge. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Monday sought a detailed explanation on Japan’s reported plan to release radioactive water from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, while expressing safety concerns. Climate, Environment, Science and Foreign Affairs Director Kwon Se-jung summoned Tomofumi Nishinaga, economic counselor at the Japanese Embassy here, to convey the government’s concerns on the possible disposal of contaminated water. “Our government very gravely recognizes the impact that the discharge of contaminated water from the Fukushima plant may have on the health and safety of both countries’ citizens, and by extension on all countries along the ocean side,” the ministry said in a press release.


By The Korea Herald
August 20, 2019