Men more likely to get into Japan medical schools, says ministry

The logo of Tokyo Medical University, which rocked Japan with its sexism scandal.
The logo of Tokyo Medical University, which rocked Japan with its sexism scandal.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - After a sexism scandal at a Japanese medical university rocked the nation, a government survey found that female students were less likely to be accepted at most of the country's medical schools.

An Education Ministry survey of entrance tests at Japan's 81 medical schools over the past six years found that men were consistently more likely to get into 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the schools, local media reported.

One reason given by the colleges was that women found the math and physics questions on the entrance test difficult.

The scandal has cast a shadow over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to draw more women into management positions in all fields, as the country struggles with a shrinking and rapidly ageing labour force.

While women's workforce participation has increased in Japan, few are rising in the ranks to supervisory positions, including in Abe's Cabinet.

The ministry will seek further information from the medical universities, given that data show women are slightly more likely than men to be accepted at universities in general, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

None of the colleges has said they added points to candidates' scores based on their gender, which last month was revealed to be standard practice at Tokyo Medical University, the newspaper said.