All Shook Up

Just how safe are Japanese buildings? That's the question shaking Japan as a construction scandal widens, jolting public confidence over building standards in one of the world's most earthquake-prone nations.

On Nov. 17, the Japanese government announced that 20 condos and one hotel in and around Tokyo designed by architect Hidetsugu Aneha did not meet Japan's strict earthquake-resistance standards. Thirteen buildings, it said, were so poorly protected that they were unlikely to withstand a medium-strength temblor. Most shocking of all: Aneha's work failed to meet codes not due to error or incompetence, but because he knowingly skimped...

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