Japan finds gender, age discrimination at 9 medical schools

In 2018, the ratio of women accepted to Tokyo Medical University after the first round of tests was 14.5 per cent, compared with 18.9 per cent for men.
In 2018, the ratio of women accepted to Tokyo Medical University after the first round of tests was 14.5 per cent, compared with 18.9 per cent for men.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - At least nine Japanese medical schools manipulated their admissions systems to exclude women and older candidates, a government report said on Friday (Dec 14), according to Kyodo News.

Four months after a scandal emerged over Tokyo Medical University's rejection of female applicants in favour of less qualified men, the Education Ministry issued the report on its investigation of the country's 81 medical colleges.

Nine schools were found to have inappropriate admissions procedures, and a 10th school is suspected of it, Kyodo said.

The news highlighted the complications facing a campaign by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to get more women into management as part of a solution to the "national crisis" of Japan's rapidly ageing population and shrinking labour force.

While more women are working outside the home in Japan, they are struggling to gain promotion to senior positions.

Some universities had already come forward to acknowledge discrimination, following third-party investigations. Juntendo University, attached to a Tokyo hospital known for treating politicians and celebrities, was the latest to hold a press conference this week.

It followed an investigation of admissions procedures that showed rigging of results against women and older students had unfairly excluded 165 candidates over the past two years.

 
 

Juntendo University said in a statement on its website it had manipulated results to make up for the fact that women tend to be more mature and better communicators than men at university entrance age. It also discriminated against candidates who took the entrance test repeatedly, according to the statement.

The Education Ministry said it would make the report results available on its website at 2pm Tokyo time.