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Reform of the nation’s system for training legal professionals — introduced a decade ago to draw people from more diverse backgrounds into the legal professional community — is under scrutiny as the ratio of applicants passing the national bar examination fell to a record low, and many of the law schools created since the reform face declining student enrollments that put their survival in doubt. Abolition and consolidation of some schools will be inevitable as the education ministry moves to cut subsidies to schools reporting low enrollments and poor results of graduates in the bar exam.

The government should carefully reassess the prospect of the demand for legal services in Japan and review its policy on legal education — but not in ways that could unduly discourage people hoping to take up the legal profession.

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