• Kyodo


Prosecutors indicted a former Meiji University law school professor Wednesday on a charge of leaking questions in this year’s national bar examinations to a woman who was one of his former students.

It is the first time that prosecutors have charged a person over leaking bar exam questions. Koichi Aoyagi, 67, had earlier admitted to the allegation and was indicted without detention on a charge of violating the confidentiality provision of the national civil service law.

The prosecutors, however, decided not to indict the woman, in her 20s, whom Aoyagi had been tutoring, as they could not find any evidence that she had urged the former professor to leak the questions, according to prosecutorial sources.

Aoyagi has said that he had leaked questions without being asked to do so because he was “fond of” the woman.

According to the indictment and other sources, Aoyagi was in charge of creating questions for the bar exam held in May and allegedly gave the woman an essay question on the Constitution that later appeared in the exam.

In the exam, the woman’s answer was better than those of other examinees and was also similar to a sample answer Aoyagi had made and circulated to other members tasked with formulating questions or grading answers in the bar exam.

The members are appointed by the justice minister based on the recommendations of the ministry’s National Bar Examination Commission and have a legal obligation to keep secrets as a part-time national public servant.

The commission filed a criminal complaint against Aoyagi on Sept. 8 for allegedly breaching confidentiality. Meiji University dismissed Aoyagi, effective Sept. 12.

The prosecutors also indicted Aoyagi on a charge of leaking multiple-choice questions on the Constitution portion of the bar exam, in which the woman had perfect scores.

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