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On Nov. 2, education minister Makiko Tanaka overturned the recommendations made the previous day by a ministry advisory body and decided not to approve the opening of three new universities in fiscal 2013.

This is the first time in 30 years that recommendations by such an advisory body have been overturned. Although Ms. Tanaka has the final legal power to approve or disapprove the opening of universities, her action clearly constitutes abuse of discretion. She should quickly withdraw her decision.

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