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Huser head admits to selling condos after told of data fabrication
[January 16, 2006]

Huser head admits to selling condos after told of data fabrication

(Kyodo News International (Tokyo) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Jan. 16--TOKYO -- The president of Huser Ltd., a condominium developer, admitted Monday the firm concluded condo sales contracts and handed over units even after being notified of the falsification of quake-resistance data for its buildings in late October.

"It is true," Susumu Ojima, the 52-year-old president, said.

But he added that he had not recognized the significance of the fabrication of the data at the time.

Officials of the condominium developer also said that the firm had not recognized at the time that the condominiums had substandard quake resistance.

Huser may have violated the Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Law by concluding the sales contracts as the law requires condo developers and their agents to explain to customers important points when contracts are concluded.

On the afternoon of Oct. 25 last year, a Huser executive visited the office of eHomes Inc., a state-designated building inspection agency, where the executive was told by former architect Hidetsugu Aneha that he had reduced the quake-resistance strength in calculating the data for some of the condominiums developed by Huser, according to the Huser officials.

The executive returned to the head office of Huser in Tokyo with Aneha where the disgraced architect gave a similar explanation to Ojima, the officials said.

Later that day, the executive and Aneha went to the architect's office in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, where the executive obtained the names of seven or eight condominiums developed by Huser for which Aneha had fabricated quake-resistance data.

The condominiums included Grand Stage Funabashi Kaijin in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture and Grand Stage Fujisawa in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Huser concluded a sales contract for a unit of Grand Stage Fujisawa on Oct. 26 and delivered 17 units of the condo on Oct. 28.

Ojima instructed his employees on the evening of Oct. 27 to suspend the sale of all the condominiums, but a contract for a unit at Grand Stage Funabashi Kaijin was concluded Oct. 29 because initial payment had already been made, the officials said.

Meanwhile, an investigation conducted by Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Akira Nagatsuma showed that a company run by the third son of a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker has been contracted by Huser to engage in administrative work for a condominium Huser developed.

Kosuke Ito, an LDP lawmaker who served as chief of the former National Land Agency from 1996 to 1997, arranged a meeting between Ojima and a senior official at the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry on Nov. 15, two days before the ministry revealed the building-code violation scandal.

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