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Demolition begins on Japanese earthquake scandal apartment building

Demolition has begun on the apartment block at the heart of the Japanese architectural earthquake scandal.

The bulldozers have moved in to knock down a condominium designed by architect Hidetsugu Aneha, who has been at the centre of a storm after it was revealed that he had falsified the building's earthquake resistance.

La Verdue Shiroiekimae, a 10-storey building with 93 units in the town of Chiba, was the first of a series of buildings by Aneha to be levelled. Although it had not even been completed, some 40 units had already been sold.

It is as yet unclear how many other buildings will have to face the wrecking ball as the controversy escalates.

Aneha has previously claimed that he came under intense pressure from the developer to save cash by faking the documents.

The scandal has rocked the Japanese architectural community. Some weeks ago, a survey found that 93 per cent of the public believed that buildings by other architects might also have falsified earthquake data.

The pressure has been increased by the fact that the country accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes over magnitude 6 on the Richter Scale.

by Ed Dorrell

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