Tokyo Medical School alters female exam scores

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Tokyo female participation has historically been low.

One of Japan’s most prestigious Medical Universities has tampered with female applicants’ entrance exam scores which have sparked outcry on social media.

Report says Tokyo Medical University began altering results in 2011 to ensure fewer than 30 percent of successful applicants would be women.

The private University says it will investigate the discrimination reports.

Users online took aim at the Japanese government over the scandal.

Critics suggested the allegations were ironic given Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s stated commitment to boost female participation in the country’s workforce.

The country’s biggest daily newspaper published the report examining student admission numbers on Thursday, sparking the complaints.

It quotes an unnamed source saying officials adopted a “silent understanding” to reduce the number of female entrants over concerns female graduates were not going on to practice medicine.

“Many female students who graduate end up leaving the actual medical practice to give birth and raise children,” the source told the newspaper.

Low female participation
In 2010, before the measure was allegedly introduced, female student participation was about 40 percent.

The newspaper reports that after the two-round application process earlier this year, only 30 female applicants were accepted to study, versus 141 men.

The story has had national resonance because female participation in the workforce has become a key issue in Japan in recent years under Shinzo Abe’s economic agenda.

Female participation has historically been low, especially in expert professions. Research suggests only 12.4 percent of legislators; senior officials and managers in Japan are female.

Tokyo Medical University is already under investigation over allegations it bribed a high-ranking figure in the education ministry Futoshi Sano by demanding he help the institution access a financial grant in return for adding points to his son’s entrance exam score.

Futoshi Sano, who was arrested last month, has reportedly denied the allegations.

Reports suggest the alleged gender discrimination may have been uncovered during that investigation.

Dominica Nwabufo