TOKYO -- Scandal-hit Tokyo Medical University substantially padded the scores of "priority" applicants taking its entrance examination about five years ago, internal documents obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun show.
The documents from the university, which is embroiled in a bribery scandal linked to the education ministry and which recently came under fire for discriminating against female applicants, show that for one applicant, 40 points were illicitly added in the essay portion of the two-phase exam, in which the full mark was 100.
A source linked to the university said the change was made under the instruction of the school's former chairman of the board of regents, Masahiko Usui. Usui and former university President Mamoru Suzuki have been hit with charges of bribing Futoshi Sano, a senior official of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, by accepting Sano's son as a student in return for ministry subsidies.
The university plans to announce the results of an internal investigation on the bribery scandal and related allegations, including its deduction from the scores of female applicants and its acceptance of students through the backdoor by increasing their points.
The documents obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun apparently date back some five years. They appear to be related to the secondary, essay-writing portion of the medical school's entrance examination. The documents include a list of applicants and their marks from two scorers who gave up to 50 points each for a total maximum of 100. The candidates' original scores were printed, but for some applicants, the scores had been crossed out and replaced with higher or lower handwritten scores.
According to people familiar with the documents, the manipulation of scores was carried out after scorers gave their marks. In some cases the changes were legitimate, based on reviews of the essays, but in some extreme cases, the scores were padded by 30 or 40 points.
Most of the applicants on this list whose scores were boosted also appeared on another list apparently made in the same year, which placed circles and double circles next to their names to indicate that they were high-priority applicants requiring admission.
In the case of on applicant, the original scores were 20 and 35 -- a total of 55. But the score of 20 was marked up to 35, then to 40, while the original score of 35 was also marked up to 40, giving the candidate a total score of 80.
(Japanese original by Sachi Fukushima, City News Department)