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LEAD: Execs knew condo site was contaminated before sale.

OSAKA, March 27 Kyodo


Three executives of companies affiliated with Mitsubishi Real Estate Service Co. have admitted the firm sold condominiums in Osaka knowing the premises were contaminated with heavy metals, police officials said Sunday.

Police questioned Shigeru Takagi, 65, president of Mitsubishi Estate Co., Akira Nishikawa, 70, chairman of Mitsubishi Materials Corp., and Akihiko Ide, 63, president of Mitsubishi Materials, in connection with Mitsubishi Real Estate Service's suspected sale of the condos within the OAP Residence Tower at the Osaka Amenity Park without telling buyers of the contamination.

Such an act would violate a real estate business deal law provision requiring that real estate agents tell prospective buyers ''important facts'' related to a deal.

The park is a multipurpose complex in Kita Ward that Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsubishi Materials built in 2001.

Arsenic, selenium and cadmium in amounts exceeding levels the government has set as acceptable were detected at the site in a survey conducted in January 1997.

But Mitsubishi Real Estate Service is suspected of having sold the condominiums without disclosing the information.

Takagi, Nishikawa and Ide told the police they were informed of the contamination before the real estate transactions, the officials said.

But according to the officials, they had no intention of concealing the information. Takagi was quoted as saying he had no perception at that time that the contamination was a fact that should be made known to prospective buyers.

The contamination was disclosed to the public in September 2002.

A case has been sent to prosecutors concerning the company's sale in December 2001 of a condominium unit to a man in his 50s, who has filed a criminal complaint.

But police suspect many people who bought condominiums in the tower, which contains about 450 units, were not told of the contamination.

Mitsubishi Real Estate Service is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Mar 28, 2005
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