Leopalace founder called for improper materials
NHK -- Mar 19
A team of investigators into how a Japanese real-estate leasing company built substandard apartment buildings has found building materials were improperly substituted on the orders of the company's founder.

Thousands of apartments built by Leopalace 21 between 1993 and 2001 were found to have failed government fire and noise standards. The company has asked around 7,700 residents of buildings at particularly high risk to move out.

The team of three lawyers appointed by the company conducted interviews with architects and developers. Its interim report says materials for inner and outer walls differed from those specified in plans. The substitutions were made at the direction of the company's founder and then president, who quit in May 2006.

The report says the company was under pressure to complete buildings quickly before large numbers of students and workers were to move in the spring.

The report says the problem was not limited to specific company departments, but was widespread and systematic. It says the team needs to investigate further before determining whether the changes in building materials were deliberate.

At a news conference on Monday, a senior company official said officials did not check whether the changes in materials as ordered by the founder were illegal.

The team will start interviewing executives to determine their responsibility, and will suggest measures to prevent further irregularities. It plans to compile a final report by late May.

News source: NHK
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