Japanese med school admits it changed exam scores to keep women out

Japan medical university cut women's test scores

It said it would consider retroactively admitting those who otherwise would have passed the exams, although it did not explain how it would do so.

Meanwhile, education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said his ministry will conduct an emergency survey targeting all colleges and universities which have a department of medicine to make sure fairness is maintained in their entrance exams.

The entrance exam bias came to light in the course of an internal investigation by the university's lawyers in the wake of the bribery scandal.

In July, Usui and Suzuki resigned as the chairman and president of the university, respectively, following allegations that they bribed a bureaucrat, Futoshi Sano, 59, in the form of guaranteeing his son's enrollment in exchange for a government subsidy.

It was found the student was given 20 extra points after failing the exam multiple times, narrowly granting him entry to the school.

It said the school wanted fewer female doctors because it anticipated they would shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers.

The manipulation was "nothing but discrimination against women", said one of the lawyers hired by the university to investigate the alterations, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.

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The lawyers also attested that all entrance examination scores for women were deducted, as ordered by Usui and with the knowledge of Suzuki and another senior official at another renown university, to prevent a shortage of doctors at the university's affiliated hospitals.

Tetsuo Yukioka (C), Managing Director of Tokyo Medical University and Keisuke Miyazawa (L), Vice-President of Tokyo Medical University, leave after a news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 7, 2018.

"I suspect that there was a lack of sensitivity to the rules of modern society, in which women should not be treated differently due to their gender", he said.

Mr Yukioka said women were not treated differently once they were accepted, but acknowledged that some people even believed women were not allowed to become surgeons.

They also concluded that scores were manipulated to give men more points than women and thus hold down the number of women admitted, since school officials felt they were more likely to quit the profession after having children, or for other reasons.

It had already been discovered that the university worked to cut the number of successful female applicants, and also tried to limit the entry of male examinees who had failed the test at least three times.

This story has been corrected to say the manipulation started in 2006 or earlier, instead of 2000.

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