Skip to main content

The Japanese government launched an investigation Friday into whether the nation’s medical schools have discriminated against female applicants, following revelations that one had done so for more than a decade.

The Education Ministry sent a questionnaire to all medical schools asking them for six years of data on the genders and ages of all applicants, those who passed the entrance exam and those who were admitted.

The questionnaire also asks if the schools took the precaution in this year’s exam of masking the IDs of applicants including their names, ages and genders in deciding whether they passed.

Story continues below advertisement

The ministry set a deadline of Aug. 24 for responses.

A Tokyo medical school released an internal investigation earlier this week that confirmed media reports that it had altered entrance exam scores to limit the number of female students. Tokyo Medical University said it believed female doctors would shorten or halt their careers if they had children, affecting hospital staffing.

Medical graduates in Japan usually work at school-affiliated hospitals after completing their training.

Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told a news conference Friday that the rigging of scores at Tokyo Medical University was “extremely inappropriate and a serious matter that eroded trust in universities,” according to Japan’s Kyodo News service.

The manipulation came to light during an investigation into allegations that the school admitted the son of an education ministry official in exchange for favourable treatment for the school in obtaining research funds. The bureaucrat and the former head of the school have been charged with bribery.

The investigation found that the school reduced all applicants’ first-stage test scores by 20 per cent this year and then added at least 20 points for male applicants, unless they had failed at least four times previously.

“We sincerely apologize for the serious wrongdoing involving entrance exams that has caused concern and trouble for many people and betrayed the public’s trust,” school managing director Tetsuo Yukioka said. He denied any previous knowledge of the score manipulation and said he was never involved.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter