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Gov't urges quick probe into female medical university discrimination

43 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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Did Dear Leader say anything about this disgrace?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What Japan needs is a female PM.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

A simple way the check the prevalence of this admission system is to see what the percecentage of male/female students is at all medical universities around japan.

If the same as Tokyo Medical University, they are manipulating the results.

The bench mark is known, measure by it. Should take about a week as the Ministry of Education would already have the admissions information.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Tokyo Medical University is a private medical school. It is their freedom who they will accept.

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

Time for testing to be taken over by an independant testing agency - with candidates only identified by a number.  Same for automotive fuel efficiency...  Same for anti-earthquake foundation cushion materials...  It seems that whenever testing is performed by 'interested parties', fraud creeps in.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Schopenhauer - do you believe they should use that freedom to discriminate against women?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

cucashopboy

The university says it is difficult to run their hospitals if they have too many female doctors. It is not a discrimination.

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

Never mind discrimination, isn't it fraud? They took money from applicants, these young women passed, but their results were doctored, they were lied to, their university positions taken from them, their careers stalled and stolen. The universities are scam artists.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Yes. Tokyo Medical University is a private business.

However they receive massive financial support from the government.

With the money comes a certain public accountability,

like not admitting a senior public servant's child through the back door

and not "adjusting" the scores of female applicants.

If they are having problems running their hospital with too many female doctors, that

is another problem that needs a different approach. Which I don't expect to be forthcoming.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This is outrageous, much worse than one tackle in an American Football game. I hope lots of heads roll.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Yeah, pretending to do something when we all know this is how Japan works in all aspects of society and culture. Gimme a break. Japan ranks near the bottom along with South Korea when it comes to gender equality.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Fiddling scores in tests at Japanese schools is nothing new or unusual. Grading of Japanese high school, college and university students is creative accounting to get averages and passage to graduates. There is always a 20-30% 'leeway' score that can be adjusted to suit averages. If this were not the case, I'd guess half of the students would never graduate junior high school.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

-23 ( +2 / -25 )

From the article, I get the feeling that at this point it is only speculation, without any evidence.

As often happens in these articles, important details are missing. They mention the share of female doctors or successful female applicants, but how about including the share of applicants. Are 50% of the applicants female? I really hope they do not end up forcing an equality of outcome; that would be disastrous.

Anyway, I like the idea of candidates only being identified by a number.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

Keep one half of the poplulation down by altering test scores and other nefarious means.

Common decency and respect isn't just a western thing.

The actions of the TMU are dishonorable.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

By "we," you mean the (Japanese) men? From all I can tell, the (mainly Japanese) women are also a large part of this culture and society, and they DID want a fair treatment in the admissions process. The Japanese women are displeased. Many Japanese men are, too.

Plus, this was not a hiring decision. The candidates were lied to. If they had known that there is a "female quota" and that only 30 percent maximum of female candidates could pass, they might have chosen to apply elsewhere. But, they thought they had an equal chance, regardless of their gender, which means they were scammed. They paid for the test on which they stood no chance.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

Schopenhauer - what's that got to do with anything? I don't even think that you think this is a valid argument - if the director of the hospital went on TV and said that equal opportunities is a western idea and that we Japanese are different, would you be impressed with his explanation? And the fact that so many Japanese people are angry with this suggests that it's not 'western standards' . Now let's look at the situation rationally.

Japan has a massive shortage of medical staff because of its demographics, which is only going to get worse.

Also, most people trained as doctors at one medical school will not become doctors there.

As garymalmgren says, the university takes a lot of money from the state so should be acting in the interests of the state. Clearly, preventing able female candidates from being able to trained as doctors is strongly acting against Japan's interests. Schopenhauer - for someone so defensive of Japan, you seem to find it extremely difficult to spot when an organisation is working against Japan!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The university says it is difficult to run their hospitals if they have too many female doctors. It is not a discrimination.

Other hospitals manage fine with large numbers of female doctors. Peraps TMU should be looking at how they run things, rather than commit fraud to discriminate against women.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This case is pretty blatant. Oh, I'm sure it has been going on. In for example essay questions, there's quite a bit of discretion to rate one person's essay over another's. But multiple choice? That's a whole new level. We are going from the "residual discrimination" in a modern society to something more akin to the 19th century.

SchopenhauerToday 09:58 am JST

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

Then at least have the conviction to admit the facts - the women were just as good as the men (at least according to the test you devised to guess at their future potential), but you aren't accepting them at the proportionate rate because...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

TMU is already deep in the mud for admitting a bureaucrat's son, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they're doing this too. What difference does it really make about the number of female doctors? If she has the smarts and 'what it takes' then do us all a favor and LET HER IN. Some of these lady doctors work up into administrative posts later on. Should gender make a difference there? Elizabeth Blackwell was a US lady doctor. That was during the 19th - early 20th century.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So, have the test score alterations been confirmed?

Also, why all the anti-Japan comments, when it is just one school, and the government is urging a quick probe?

Fiddling scores in tests at Japanese schools is nothing new or unusual.

... and also occurs at US schools.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Gender discrimination is endemic all all levels of Japanese society. Giving women equal status would undermine Japanese culture.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

schopenhauer:

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards?

Yeah, Japan's not my country, so what do I care?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a Litmus test of Abe's hypocrisy. Abe went UN to promote women's role, Abe even gave money to UN to prove his sincerity. Now what happened in Japan is just opposite of what Abe presented to the world of what Japan is about. Big slapping on face from Akie is the nicest thing to the liar.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Clearly this BAD!

These kinds of things DO happen all around the world at Uni's colleges, I recall in the US ivy league schools messing with admissions in various ways as well.

Back home in Canada I know it happens too, if parents or family are alumni their kids can get FAVOURED over others in getting into Uni's. I clearly recall a uni I applied to asking me for info on any connections I may have to the uni in question, I ignored it & didn't get offered admission, but I did in the other two I applied too!

I hope they FIX this, it is a bad tactic used by many higher education institutions worldwide!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Never mind discrimination, isn't it fraud? They took money from applicants, these young women passed, but their results were doctored, they were lied to, their university positions taken from them, their careers stalled and stolen. The universities are scam artists.

I think Maria makes a more valid point. It will be easier for them to deal with financial loss than to address the racism. Take the path of least resistance and pretend to be doing something, so it can be quickly swept under the rug and forgotten about after some deep bowing on TV.

From my experience Japanese culture and many Japanese people like to keep things surface level because everything is muzukashii! It's preferable to say shoganai a lift their shoulders with the deer in the headlights look, or just blatant act like it doesn't exist.

Passive aggressive racism is rampant in Japan. There are also no real laws in place to protect the discriminated groups. Addressing racism means they would have admit that all people in Japan have equal value not just educated adult heterosexual Japanese males with money. Once started then they would need to address all other aspects of Japanese life like employment, education, marriage and housing. They also wouldn't be able to freely discriminate and exploit foreigners regardless of home country (ie. fake internships, housing, family registries, merit-based promotions....etc).

That would bring a reality that would shatter the myth that Japan and it's culture is so unique and special that only full-blooded Japanese who live their whole life in Japan can understand, so we should be allowed to do whatever it takes to preserve it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This university should be shut down as it is a disgrace. At the very least it should receive no further government subsidies for its illegal activities. By lowering the threshold for admittance for men only they are effectively letting less qualified people become doctors, compromising safety.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On the other hand, I believe there is a women-only medical university in Tokyo. If discrimination is to be ended at mixed gender medical schools, should women-only institutions be allowed to continue?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Japan has many national medical schools and they are open fairly to boys and girls. If they do not want to face discrimination, apply to national medical schools. Private medical schools were built for various special reasons - one to support doctors for them doctors are their family business. They want their sons or daughters become doctors. The private medical schools receive a lot of fund from them in return they accept students whose test scores a little less than the required. Why is it bad?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Schopenhauer,

let's say it's ok to accept only males or only about 30 percent females to a private medical school. However, that should be disclosed up front. This university started reducing women's test scores in order to reject their enrollment in 2010. Not before.

The big problem is that no women knew about the reduced quota for women until 2018! Thus, they were scammed. If they had known that they have lower chances (the least the university should do is be honest about it), they indeed, as you suggest (and I suggest in my earlier post) could have applied somewhere else. But, the university lied to them. The university took away points from the test scores from women only. This has nothing to do with Japanese or "western" cultures or private schools' right to accept men or women.

Finally, who says that other universities are not doing the same thing--reducing certain groups of people's scores? We didn't know that this private Tokyo Medical University is doing this until this year

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I do not think women applicants did not know about the reduced quota at all. They receive guidances from their high school teachers and they are quick to know about rumours.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

I do not think women applicants did not know about the reduced quota at all. They receive guidances from their high school teachers and they are quick to know about rumours.

I would they know that a private university was lowering the student test scores by changing them not quotas for women only? What kind of high school teacher would be privy to that kind of information? What student would tolerate an examiner scoring their exam incorrectly?

That makes no sense!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

TBS TV quoted an unidentified former admissions official at Tokyo Medical University as saying that medical schools routinely alter scores to keep women out.

So they want to wrap this up quickly before people find out about the other schools doing the same thing. They are trying to avoid further embarrassment. The longer this goes the more questions will be asked about the other schools. Large numbers of women applicants will be demanding refunds for application fees which they were scammed out of. There was no document or contract notifying the applicant that the school has the right to alter their test scores as they see fit. They already have an Education minister and two high ranking medical university officials being charged or fired for bribery because they allowed his son admission into their medical school.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Not just private medical schools but all the private colleges and universities in Japan are pandemoniums. That is why national colleges and universities are trusted here. All know about the scandals involving private colleges - that happened because they are in short of money. It is only the recent time that Waseda and Keio became "clean."  In the past, each professor had a quota of students allowing them from back doors and receive bribes from them.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I do not think women applicants did not know about the reduced quota at all. They receive guidances from their high school teachers and they are quick to know about rumours.

Schopenhauer - what would you know about this? Do you work in the medical profession, a high school or in careers guidance? Unless you are, you are making conjectures without any evidence at all. And why are you going to such extraordinary lengths to defend this medical college? It almost sounds as if you have an undisclosed interest.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Imagine a massive iceberg, and then imagine that just a tincy wincy bit right at the top is sticking out of the water - that little bit is this story.

The only way it'll ever change is if people start sticking up for themselves, making their voices heard, and demanding that all those even the slightest bit involved are held accountable. The Japanese media should be standing front and center helping all those affected reach the necessary people, and not relent until things start changing for the better.

I work in a private medical university and based on the way it's run, I'm not surprised by this story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

cucashopboy

All Japanese know private medical schools are not ordinary schools ordinary students can enter.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

All Japanese know private medical schools are not ordinary schools ordinary students can enter.

That is a very big generalization about Japanese people without proof or personal knowledge of each and every Japanese person alive today about private medical schools. Do you also refer to yourself as "We Japanese..."?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Also, why all the anti-Japan comments, when it is just one school, and the government is urging a quick probe?

Fiddling scores in tests at Japanese schools is nothing new or unusual.

... and also occurs at US schools.

The comments only reflect what we see - systemic sexism designed to keep the medical system male dominated. It is one of those things that is clearly a Japanese problem due to the wider values of the society.

I don't care what happens in US schools - we are talking about Japan and there are another 200 countries apart from America.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why does Japan have to adjust to the western standards? We have different ideas to view the world.

This is a very interesting comment and the answer is even more interesting. Japan uses these educational statistics to boast about education in Japan on an international scale. However, by international standards Japan's education system is a flipping joke! Students are coddled all the way through their education with easy tests and bonus points. Half of the students' score was attendance at a college I worked for. Furthermore, never has a Japanese student had to repeat a grade for failing. They are just given free passage to graduation. There is way too much focus put on reputations and names of schools. I know many people who have graduated from Tokai and they are flipping idiots that would be lucky to have the knowledge to boil an egg! The ability to memorise a few facts that are recycled into a test does not equal intelligence or education. Japan is a country full of dumb smart people who coasted through their whole education.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

All Japanese know private medical schools are not ordinary schools ordinary students can enter.

Evidently those female students who applied and were rejected due to discrimination did not know this. As I asked before, why are you going to such extraordinary lengths and making such clearly nonsensical statements to defend the indefensible?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All the Japanese government do is "urge". That's the problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Reading all comments from a particular commenter - and I am getting a peak into the mindset of those who believe this act of gender discrimination and fraud is justified.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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