Tokyo Medical University ordered to pay more than ¥18 million over rigging exams

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo District Court in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Tokyo District Court on Friday ordered Tokyo Medical University to pay a total of ¥18.3 million in damages to women affected by the school’s score-rigging in past entrance examinations.

Presiding Judge Kyoko Hiraki ordered that the payments be made to 27 of the 28 plaintiffs, all women who took the university’s entrance exams in the past. They had demanded ¥152 million in damages.

Hiraki acknowledged that the university made score adjustments in medical department entrance exams from fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2018, bumping up scores for some male applicants in order to pick passers based on gender and age.

The university “treated women unfairly on the basis of their gender, which cannot be changed by one’s efforts or will, and that goes against the spirit of the basic law on education and the Constitution,” Hiraki said.

Having female applicants take entrance exams without notifying them of the existence of score adjustments “violates applicants’ freedom to make volitional decisions on which schools to take entrance exams for and constitutes an illegal act,” Hiraki also said.

The court recognized exam fees and related transport and lodging expenses as damages and ordered the university to pay ¥200,000 in consolation money per exam to the 27 plaintiffs.