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The Apa Group Forced to Shut Two Kyoto Hotels;
Were Built Based on Fabricated Quakeproof Data
Kyodo News International, TokyoMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Jan. 25, 2007 - TOKYO -- The Kyoto city government on Thursday banned two Kyoto hotels from taking customers due to their vulnerability to earthquakes, municipal officials said.

The two hotels are the 10-story Apa Villa Hotel Kyoto-Ekimae, opened in 2004 with 139 rooms, and the 11-story Apa Hotel Kyoto-Eki-Horikawadori, opened in 2005 with 515 rooms, according to the city government.

The hotels need reinforcement as they have only 71 and 79 percent of necessary quake resistance, respectively, it said.

Both hotels, operated under the Apa Group, a hotel and condominium developer, were built based on quakeproof data fabricated by Tamura Mizuochi Sekkei, a building planning firm in Toyama, it said.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry has instructed local governments across Japan to check into 143 buildings in which the planning firm has had a hand since it began operating in 1997.

The planning firm's architect Mitsuo Mizuochi told Kyodo News on Thursday that he has not fabricated any quakeproof data.

But the Kyoto city government said he has admitted to fabrication for one of the hotels.

A similar quakeproof fabrication scandal centering on now-disqualified architect Hidetsugu Aneha rocked the quake-prone Japanese archipelago from 2005 to 2006 when it was discovered that faked data were used for nearly 100 buildings, including condominiums and hotels.

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To see more of Kyodo News International, go to http://www.kyodonews.com

Copyright (c) 2007, Kyodo News International, Tokyo

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