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USJ theme park has continued to misuse explosives.

OSAKA, Aug. 14 Kyodo

Hollywood theme park Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka continued to misuse explosives this month in three fireworks attractions, even after police had launched a probe into a separate fireworks show, officials with the Osaka prefectural government and theme park operator USJ Co. said Wednesday.

USJ is currently being investigated for its use and storage of explosives for the popular ''Hollywood Magic'' fireworks attraction.

Earlier investigations showed that the explosives used for the three shows were found to be different than those approved by the prefectural government. The three shows are ''Universal Monsters Live Rock And Roll Show,'' ''The Wild, Wild, Wild West Stunt Show'' and ''WaterWorld.''

The prefectural government and the police decided to inspect the three shows Wednesday after USJ officials submitted a notice of change in the shows to the prefecture the same day. The three shows will be halted during the inspections, USJ officials said.

The probe into the ''Hollywood Magic'' show found that the park had surpassed its allowable limit of 23.1 to 23.7 kilograms by about 3.7 kg since the park opened last March.

The show has been canceled since July 31 when the first investigation was conducted by the Osaka police and prefectural and city governments.

The USJ officials have admitted to the prefectural government that they continued to misuse explosives in the three other shows to boost the impact of the shows.

In the three shows, USJ sometimes used more or less explosives than the amounts it had applied for. Out of 130 explosives used in the three shows, 26 used more explosives than the approved amount and 49 used less. In total, USJ used 17 to 358 grams less than the approved amount.

According to the officials, this was detected during an in-house probe.

Meanwhile, the police began investigating the discovery of nine fake admission tickets, which marks the first case of counterfeit tickets. The probe is based on a police complaint that USJ officials filed.

The tickets, believed to be color photocopies, were taken to the park Monday and only five of them were detected at the entrance.

USJ has been tainted by a recent series of scandals, including the use of food past its expiration date in restaurants and untreated industrial water in drinking fountains.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Aug 19, 2002
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