Susumu Ojima (52), the president of Huser Construction Ltd. was arrested today in what is the climax so far of the infamous case of the non-earthquake resistant condos. Huser is one of Japan’s major construction companies and has been in the midst of a scandal since last year when it was revealed by the now disgraced architect, Hidetsugu Aneha, that since 1998 pressure was put on him to skimp on the amount of steel reinforcing required by law in the designs for the condominiums he was in charge of.
Not only Huser’s president, but the top dogs at Kimura Construction were re-arrested today on the same charges relating to a condominium they built and, like Huser, sold to unsuspecting buyers in spite of it being likely to come down in an earthquake.
Huser’s Ojima appeared before a Diet committee on January 17 which was trying to get to the bottom of this nationwide scandal, but was completely uncooperative, refusing to answer nearly all the questions put to him. Sounds like from today he will have little choice.
Almost comically, HUSER is an acronym for “Human User Company”!
Check out a sound from JapanVisitor's podcast: the cry of the neighborhood gyoza seller.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006