Tokyo med school admits it altered tests to keep women out

A Tokyo medical school on Tuesday admitted entrance test scores for female applicants were routinely altered to keep women out and apologised for the discrimination after a probe.

“We betrayed the public trust. We want to sincerely apologise for this,” Tokyo Medical University managing director Tetsuo Yukioka told reporters as he bowed deeply.

Such alterations “should never happen,” added Keisuke Miyazawa, vice president of the university, pledging next year’s entrance exams would be fair without giving further details.

Japanese media last week reported that the university had for years been lowering the scores of female applicants in order to keep the ratio of women in the school at 30 percent or lower.

Initial reports suggested the practice dated to 2011, but a probe conducted after the reports found the alterations started as early as 2006, Kyodo News reported Tuesday.


The scandal was uncovered by investigators looking into claims the university padded the scores of an education ministry bureaucrat’s son to help him gain admission, and local media said other instances had been discovered where individual entrance test scores were revised upwards, suggesting favouritism.

But female applicant test scores meanwhile were lowered across the board.

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

Sources told local media the discrimination was the result of a view that women would not be reliable doctors after graduation.

“Women often quit after graduating and becoming a doctor, when they get married and have a child,” one source told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper when it broke the story last week.

In 2018, the ratio of women accepted to the medical school after the first round of tests was 14.5 percent, compared with 18.9 percent for men.

In the second and final test stage, just 2.9 percent of female applicants were admitted, compared with 8.8 percent of male applicants.

The story has caused outrage in Japan, with women’s empowerment minister Seiko Noda calling the practice “disturbing.”

“It’s extremely disturbing if the university didn’t let women pass the exams because they think it’s hard to work with female doctors,” public broadcaster NHK quoted her saying Tuesday.

Japanese women are highly educated in general but the country’s notoriously long work hours force many out of the workplace when they start families.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made “womenomics” ― or boosting women’s participation in the workplace and promoting women to senior positions ― a priority, but the pace of progress has been slow.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

‘Wrong side of history’: Caster Semenya’s CAS appeal shot down

South Africa’s star Olympic athlete may well have run out of legal options after latest loss in Swiss tribunal

Olympics halt good for everyone

They took time, but the International Olympic Committee have finally done the responsible thing and postponed Tokyo 2020

Fear and uncertainty grip sports due to Covid-19 outbreak

Bankruptcy? Quarantine centres? SA’s sporting bodies are facing their greatest-ever challenge

Develop the Advanced Manufacturing Institute to increase SA’s competitiveness

The institute should develop products that are applicable to different industries, such as 3D-imaging and self-driving cars

Local skater sets sights on Tokyo

Jean-marc Johannes already holds two Guinness World records and is striving to be among the first skateboarders representing their countries at the Olympics in the sport’s debut at the 2020 Games

What would an Olympics cancellation cost Japan?

Japan has a diversified economy not heavily reliant on tourism. But with domestic spending already weak, the hit from a cancellation could ripple through and further depress local purchasing.
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday