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

Premier Li announces slew of measures to fight virus in a top-level meeting

Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, a pneumonia-causing virus, in Beijing. Li is head of the group. China will adopt a host of measures including delaying and reducing conferences and major events, extending the Spring Festival holiday and supporting work online to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a decision released at a high-level meeting on Sunday. Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, a pneumonia-causing virus, in Beijing. Li is head of the group. The group was established after a meeting of the St


By China Daily
January 27, 2020

Economics, Environment

Wuhan virus: China locks down five cities at epicentre of outbreak

Move to curb virus’ spread across world comes as experts race to crack its code. China has taken the unprecedented move of locking down cities at the heart of a new Sars-like outbreak that has spread swiftly across provinces and the world, killing at least 17 and infecting more than 630. In a dramatic effort to curb the sweep of the mutating virus, officials in Wuhan announced at midnight on Wednesday that the city, where the mystery coronavirus originated last month in a wet market that sold live animals, was being sealed off. Last night, the authorities in the surrounding cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Xiantao in the same Hubei province in central China also imposed travel restrictions. The toughest measures were taken in Huanggang, where


By The Straits Times
January 24, 2020

Economics, Environment

New coronavirus cases rise to 571 in Chinese mainland

China’s National Health Commission said cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17,  on Thursday morning. Latest on pneumonia epidemic: Cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17, China’s National Health Commission said on Thursday morning. In addition, 393 suspected cases were reported as of Wednesday midnight. All the reported deaths were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Outside the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan each confirmed one case.


By China Daily
January 23, 2020

Economics, Environment

Strictest measures enacted to contain viral pneumonia in China

As the pathogen continues to spread, the strictest prevention and control measures are being adopted by the Chinese health authorities for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. Chinese health authorities are adopting the strictest prevention and control measures for the new strain of coronavirus that has caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, as the pathogen continues to spread. On Monday, 77 new confirmed cases of the virus — 2019-nCoV — were reported on the Chinese mainland, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland to 291, six of whom died, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday afternoon. Among the new cases, 72 were reported in Hubei province, two in Shanghai a


By China Daily
January 22, 2020

Economics, Environment

Wuhan virus: China confirms human-to-human transmission, says medical workers infected

China’s health commission said on Monday (Jan 20)  that medical workers have been infected by the deadly coronavirus first discovered in the central city of Wuhan, confirming it can be transmitted between people. “The current situation is that it is no longer animal to human transmission, but human to human,” said Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan, who discovered the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) coronavirus in 2003 and now heads an expert panel under the health commission. He cited a case in Guangdong, where the patient had not been to Wuhan but caught the virus from a family member. Dr Zhong also said 14 medical personnel helping with coronavirus patients have been infected by one carrier. “The key to controlling the spread o


By The Straits Times
January 21, 2020

Economics, Environment

Trump invites Asean leaders, including Duterte, to summit in US

Donald Trump, the US President has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Asean to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. US President Donald Trump has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March. “The invitation was first conveyed during the Asean-US meeting at the Asean Summit and related summits in Bangkok last November. The United States then reiterated its invitation through a letter dated Jan. 9, 2020,”the Palace said. The Palace also released a copy of Trump’s letter to the Asean leaders dated Nov. 1, given during last year’s Asean summit in Bangkok. “I would also like


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 20, 2020