Not far from Shin Osaka Station is a 11-storey, 40 year old apartment building that was built to the older earthquake codes (called kyu-taishin). A member of the building owners’ association said that the building has been carefully maintained over the years with new flooring in the common areas and re-painting of the exterior walls. However, no efforts have been made to retrofit the building for earthquakes. They are also yet to conduct any official earthquake-resistant building diagnosis, although they did consult with an architect several years ago. The architect’s opinion was that retrofitting was absolutely necessary and could cost around 100 million Yen.
The building, with 100 apartments, has 90 million Yen in the repair fund. If they were to carry out retrofitting, the building management and repair fees charged to each apartment owner would have to double. The issue about retrofitting is brought up each year at the owners’ association annual meeting, but those in favour are in the minority.