Japan Firm Falsifies Life Raft Maintenance Data

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)--Kyoei Sangyo Co. <6973> said Friday that a life-saving raft maintenance subsidiary has skipped some safety inspection steps or manipulated maintenance records at its sales office in Hiroshima Prefecture.

After receiving the report from Kyoei Sangyo, a Tokyo technology firm, the transport ministry ordered Kyoei Marine Technology Co.'s office in Fukuyama to halt its maintenance operations for its violation of the ship safety law.

The ministry will launch on-site inspections at life raft maintenance companies across Japan by Nov. 9 to check for similar improper cases.

According to Kyoei Sangyo and other sources, the irregularities at the Fukuyama office may have started in August 2002. Inspectors there are believed to have skipped tests to confirm air leaks of life rafts for a total of 326 cargo ships and ferries as well as tests for emergency slides.

There is the possibility that appropriate maintenance was not been conducted for 812 rafts for 156 ships and 116 emergency slides.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press