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More architects embroiled in Japanese earthquake data scandal

The controversy surrounding the Japanese architecture community has deepened.

The government announced on Wednesday (25 January) that it is revoking the licence to practice of eight architects for designing buildings that fail to meet the stringent earthquake regulations.

Until this announcement, the scandal had only affected one architect, Hidetsugu Aneha, who faces criminal charges for falsifying quake-resistance data for at least 82 buildings - mostly apartment blocks and hotels - to make them appear to meet safety regulations.

But now eight other architects working with him have been punished for allegedly overlooking Aneha's fabricated data.

One of them is reported as saying that he had noticed that Aneha's designs lacked the normal levels of reinforcement bars.

The storm has hit the Japanese public's confidence in the profession hard. A survey just before Christmas found that 93 per cent of people questioned suspected that buildings designed by other architects might have been built with falsified data.

by Ed Dorrell

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