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Subsidies to Tokyo Medical U. cut off over admissions corruption, discrimination

The front gate to Tokyo Medical University is seen in this photo taken in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on July 4, 2018. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

TOKYO -- Tokyo Medical University will have its academic 2018 subsidies halted over corrupt and discriminatory admissions practices uncovered last year, education minister Masahiko Shibayama announced at a Jan. 22 news conference.

The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, a government-backed organization that administers the subsidies, agreed at a Jan. 21 management committee meeting that the medical school should not receive its full aid amount for the academic year ending in March. The school received some 2.3 billion yen (about $21 million) in subsidies the previous year, and the cut is likely to have a serious impact on its operations.

The mutual aid corporation's standards declare that subsidies may be reduced or halted if a member of a school's board of directors, or of its teaching staff, is arrested or indicted over a case that brings the institution's management practices into doubt. Tokyo Medical University's former board of regents' chairman Masahiko Usui and President Mamoru Suzuki resigned in July 2018 and were later indicted without detention for their alleged roles in granting admission to the son of a senior education ministry official in return for a ministry subsidy grant.

If subsidies are halted, as they have been for Tokyo Medical University, they remain at zero for the following academic year, before being resumed in quarter increments over the next four years.

The aid body decided on severe subsidy cuts for six other schools that an education ministry investigation concluded had discriminated against female and repeat entrance exam takers or given others preferential treatment. The harshest reduction of 35 percent was meted out to Nihon University, rocked by both discriminatory admissions revelations, and a scandal over a malicious tackle carried out by a member of its American football team on coaches' orders.

Cuts of 25 percent were imposed on the medical schools at Iwate Medical University, Showa University, Juntendo University, Kitasato University, Kanazawa Medical University and Fukuoka University.

(Japanese original by Takuya Izawa, City News Department)

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