A Tokyo medical school apologized Tuesday after an internal investigation confirmed that it altered entrance exam scores for years to limit the number of female students and ensure more men became doctors. Tokyo Medical University manipulated all entrance exam results starting in 2006 or even earlier, according to findings released by lawyers involved in the investigation, confirming recent reports in Japanese media. The school said the manipulation should not have occurred and would not in the future. It said it would consider retroactively admitting those who otherwise would have passed the exams, although it did not explain how it would do so. The initial media reports on the scandal said the manipulation removed as much as 10 percent of female applicants in some years, per the AP.
The manipulation was revealed during an investigation into the alleged "backdoor entry" of an education ministry bureaucrat's son in exchange for favorable treatment for the school in obtaining research funds. The bureaucrat and the former head of the school have been charged with bribery. The investigation found manipulations had occurred for years because the school wanted fewer female doctors since it anticipated they would shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers. "We sincerely apologize for the serious wrongdoing involving entrance exams that has caused concern and trouble for many people and betrayed the public's trust," school managing director Tetsuo Yukioka said. Yukioka said women were not treated differently once they were accepted, but acknowledged that some people believe women were not allowed to become surgeons. (Read more japan stories.)