Ex-Landowner Denies Link to Fatal Atami Mudslide

Society Lifestyle

Atami, Shizuoka Pref., May 12 (Jiji Press)--A former owner of the land plot that collapsed and triggered a fatal mudslide in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, in July last year denied on Thursday any involvement in creating a soil mound on the site.

"I did not order" earth and sand to be brought to create the mound, the former owner testified before a special investigation committee set up under law by the Atami city assembly.

Also giving testimony, the current landowner denied any link as well. "I wasn't aware of the mound," the person said. "I've never been to the site."

It was the first time for the former and current landowners to testify in public since the mudslide, in which 27 people died, including one for an indirect cause. One person is still missing.

The creation of the mound was reported to the city in 2007 by the former landowner, who was head of a property management company in Odawara in the neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press