National

Support group for victims of Tokyo Medical University's discriminatory admissions policies urges investigators to reveal scores

by Chisato Tanaka

Staff Writer

A support group for those subject to discrimination through Tokyo Medical University’s admissions policies, which favored male students, said Monday it had requested that the university’s third-party investigation release the scores of students who took the exams and want to know their scores.

“The first demand of the alleged victims is to be informed of their scores and a full acknowledgment of the facts,” said Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer who is also a member of the support group, to reporters.

“The worst thing is that we need to fight for those who could have entered the university if (the discriminatory scoring system) had not been applied.”

The support group has submitted a letter of request to the law firm tasked with investigating the case, after receiving 31 letters of attorney from alleged victims who say their scores were affected by the fraud. Including those who sent letters of attorney, more than 80 alleged victims have contacted the group in order to ask that their scores be revealed.

The inquiries they have received include requests for the university to pay compensation, including return of the ¥60,000 entrance exam fees paid by applicants.

The group’s request to the investigators includes disclosure of all scores, and the rankings of students who took the test in and after 2006 in cases where the individual has asked for this information. That year is the earliest known time period in which the systematic discriminatory scoring system was thought to have been in place.

The group also asked for score distribution measures in the interview and essay phases of the examination to be disclosed, in order to determine whether the discriminatory scoring system was applied to those tests as well.

Tokyo Medical University said at a news conference in August that all the documents necessary to release the scores have been impounded by the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office, making it impossible for them to satisfy the request.

Kawai said that the investigators in the law firm have stated that they are trying their best and are using all available means to conduct their investigation.

At the August news conference, Tokyo Medical University admitted to subtracting points from all female students, and from male applicants who took the test at least four times. Another lawyer tasked with investigating the university’s alleged discrimination concluded in August that the school had engaged in systematic discriminatory scoring since a decade ago.

The female and male applicants who had points deducted could only receive a maximum of 80 points out of 100, even if they answered all the questions correctly.

The support group’s requests were included in an official document that asked the investigators to determine the basis on which those point systems were adopted.

The support group also requested a breakdown of the ratio of female and male members of the university’s admission committee.

The results of the investigation will likely be released within a month, Kawai said.