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Why do you think such a big deal has been made by media and police about a student's online cheating during university entrance exams?

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3 reasons:

1.The universities knew that they were in trouble (for not foreseeing the problem), and they acted swiftly, put pressure on the police and media to make an example of the boy, making sure it wouldn't be copycat-ed, and taking the blame away from themselves.

2.The media shows what people want to see, that's how they make money. This case is similar to many recent tops news stories, it raises the question that everyone has on their minds in the last 5-10 years "What is happening to our society and morals?". The media has created a frenzy, and the viewers have been soaking it up.

3.Timing. New Zealand earthquake was slipping out of the news, nothing was happening in J politics, and most Japanese people don't even know where Libya is, let alone realise that the middle east is the future.

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Because it'll expose the exams for what they are; a sham.

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Because if the media were to make a big deal out of a much bigger, more important scandal, like political bribe-taking and slush funds by certain politicos, they'd experience a completely legal 'disruption of business.'

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Because it's a ratings grabber and they are probably struggling to find any other interesting news out there... everyone is sick to death of scandals involving politicians, and the ebizo incident has pretty much died down - they'll milk this topic dry until something else comes up.

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Because University entrance exams are at the heart of the Japanese academic system. The exam and the exam alone will decide your future. Get into a good school and you are almost guaranteed a good job and a high salary. Don't get in and you will have to scramble for everything. That is the belief most people still have, so if there was any hint of impropriety it would shake the whole system to its foundation.

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Cuz they have nothing else to talk about. Turmoil in middle east doesn't bother them. as a matter of fact most Japanese don't know something is happening in that region.

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Because one media outlet reported it and all the others followed like lemmings and now they are playing a game to see which one of them can squeeze the most out of it.....oh and as one of my japanese coworkers reminded me when i asked him the same question...because this is japan.

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Because of all the people out there who feel that their lives were ruined because they didn't get into a top university, or that their kids will be homeless if they don't get into Todai. People actually kill themselves over these stupid exams; they can't possibly bear the idea that someone might have gotten something they didn't deserve.

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Japan is circling the drain politically, economically, socially, everything-ally, but the press get to write of a rare police success story of catching a dastardly villain quickly! Don't underestimate the "feel-good" factor here...

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Sad but most people don't know what a scam these exams are. Only the top 10 schools really use them. Most others it is simply a money generating thing because with the lack of children applying, everyone who sits for the exam, unless you are a true moron, gets accepted. SCAM.

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Turmoil in middle east doesn't bother them. as a matter of fact most Japanese don't know something is happening in that region

nisegaijin -- tend to agree. This is a simple story to cover and sounds exciting, almost sexy, due to the technical aspect -- subterfuge, cheating, mobile phones, servers, tracing postings, etc. Where the middle east would actually require some real reporting and force folks here to attempt to understand what is going on over there. And that is just too much effort/expense, especially with TV stations losing viewers.

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Probably all of the above.

Japanese love a villian, and seemed to never tire of tsk tsking and talking about how bed people are. Probably makes them feel better. What's funny, is that many people will tell you that cheating has been rampant for years during INHOUSE exams. So it's not really a moral issue. Japanese cheat and lie all the time. But, as some pointed out - cheating at a Uni entrance exam is different. It determines life for so many people.

Regardless of how many people will say I'm behind the times, getting into Tokyo Uni or Kyoto Uni (the one he cheated the most on) still gives a guy a better chance with the girls, finding a wife, having people look at him differently etc.

But the people watching for cheaters were absolutely pathetic.

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Because a young, out of high school kid made the system look stupid.

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Gurukun - I agree with most of the above opinions, but I think your suggestion is probably the most significant reason.

A "How Dare they/he/she..." attitude was stirred.

Like when Horae-mon challenged the status-quo a few years back.

The devil incarnate.

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I am more surprised that they are acting like this the first time this has ever happened. I would be even MORE surprised if it actually WAS the first time this has happened.

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I too would be surprised if it hadn't happened before. But THIS time someone got CAUGHT! So we have to milk this story for all it's worth. Forever.

And I also agree that part of it is probably the fact that these tests are so important to determining your future. Not everyone is going to get into Todai, and if someone cheats to get into a good school, those who DIDN'T are going to want blood.

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Because they are trying to divert the public's attention away from the real problems in this country, namely a sappy police force, corrupt politicians, missing billions from the pension funds, a dying economy and ignorance of the needs of children as well as international laws requiring cooperation from Japan. If this is the best they can do, then it truly is pathetic.

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Because it makes for a great drama. I agree, this guy will take the fall and they media will talk about it for the next month or two. This is what the Japanese media have been subjected too? Gossip stories? This is the new in thing. Where is the relevancy in all of this garbage?! Funny, an acquaintance of mine told me a few days ago, that shedding light on this issue would more or less deter other students from possibly wanting to try and cheat, why? Because Japanese culturally are NOT the kind to do so a thing because of them thinking that honesty and hard work is the right way to succeed in life. She also believes statistically, most Japanese students do not cheat as much as in other countries.

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corrupt politicians, missing billions from the pension funds, a dying economy and ignorance of the needs of children as well as international laws requiring cooperation from Japan.

But we are just pathetic Gaijin, there is no way that we could ever have an accurate insight on what Japanese culture is or how it should. Foreigners can never understand the true thinking of what and how to be Japanese....unless you're Phil Spector.

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Lots of good insights above, also my take on the envy factor from all those who didn't get into that all-important top university, is that there's a knee-jerk loathing of rule-breaking. Doesn't matter that every day, millions of people break rules which actually make a lot of sense (road safety rules come to mind), but if someone seems to be cocking a snook at the system by subverting the rules, then everyone starts screaming blue bloody murder. It's probably their way of expressing the rage and frustration that comes with feeling yourself hemmed in by meaningless and ridiculous rules. Someone who seems in some way free of that, brings collective rage down upon themselves. Just like Horiemon, as others have said.

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The power of the smartphone - The game changer - The Equalizer with all the juku classes, all the dough ( YEN ) the parents spent on their little pretentious brat, studying, parental bullying, and rich kids trying to pass these exams. Parents praying that their nerdy kid will make it and get into a prestigious full of who who school.

It was foiled by a smart phone cheater. Even Inspector Gadget couldn't have done it better !!!!!

**Japan's motto " cheaters never prosper ! ! ! " - Unless they have a smartphone ! ! !

Leave the man alone ! ! ! His life is totally ruined. Hopefully after jail time, he'll attend college abroad. **

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because people are sheep. actually they seek out trash news and watch it with jaws wide open

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