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The three ruling parties agreed Wednesday to protest the education ministry’s decision to give graduates of schools certified by Western education groups automatic qualification to take national university entrance exams while excluding students from other international schools.

The idea was proposed by New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba during an afternoon meeting with his counterparts Taku Yamasaki of the Liberal Democratic Party and Toshihiro Nikai of the New Conservative Party, according to meeting participants.

Fuyushiba was quoted as saying that the decision by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to exclude schools for Koreans and Chinese living in Japan was not clearly explained.

Earlier this month, the ministry said it will designate as certifying bodies the European Council for International Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Christian Schools International. The change is to take effect April 1.

The three groups only certify schools that mainly teach in English, which automatically excludes other Asian ethnic high schools.

Three Korean residents groups have complained to the ministry, saying the decision is “a serious violation of human rights.”

The education ministry proposed the change to a key advisory government council earlier this month.

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