TOKYO -- Major foundation engineering company Japan Pile admitted Friday that it also falsified installation data in some past projects, a revelation that may indicate widespread data-doctoring in the industry.
Japan Pile holds a 25% share of the domestic market for driving the concrete piles that support buildings, compared with 2% for Asahi Kasei Construction Materials. It reviewed data for roughly 1,000 projects handled over the past eight years in response to the scandal at the Asahi Kasei unit, which came to light when an apartment building in Yokohama was found to be leaning.
Japan Pile said it found data tampering in 18 projects, including a police station in Ehime Prefecture, a Tokyo office building and a store in Ibaraki Prefecture. The data used to determine whether a pile has reached the appropriate depth was taken from other piles in some cases.
The company reported its findings to the infrastructure ministry Friday and said it also notified clients. As its investigation continues, more data falsifications could come to light.
Japan Pile falsified data for one of the 12 piles at the Tokyo office building, a project led by general contractor Taisei. Data was faked on six of 35 piles for a parking structure at the Ehime police station, a project undertaken by a local construction company. None of the concerned buildings is leaning or showing other issues.
"There are no problems with safety because piles have reached the bearing stratum at all of the buildings for which data was falsified," Japan Pile President Akira Kurose said.
Also Friday, Asahi Kasei announced results from its investigation of projects handled by Asahi Kasei Construction Materials over the past decade. Data falsification occurred on 266, or 11%, of the 2,376 projects reviewed so far. The subsidiary was involved in 3,040 projects during that time. More than 50 of the roughly 180 personnel taking data on pile driving were involved in cheating, the company said, revealing how common the practice had become.