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Boy successfully masqueraded as Tokyo elite high school student for months

Kaisei Junior & Senior High School is seen here in the Nishinippori district of Tokyo's Arakawa Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A boy has been caught passing as a registered student accepted at an elite boys' high school in the Japanese capital, where he reportedly continued to attend classes until September, the Mainichi Shimbun learned on Sept. 30.

    The incident took place at Kaisei Senior High School in Tokyo's Arakawa Ward. The school continues to hold the record for the high school with the most students who win spots to the competitive University of Tokyo.

    The high school has expelled the originally accepted student, and banned the boy pretending to be him from entering school premises.

    According to school operator Kaisei Gakuen, the high school's entrance exams took place on Feb. 10, 2020. Proctors checked applicants' photos on their exam admission slips against their maskless faces during each of the five subjects they sat for. The same checks were conducted on Feb. 16 in the information session for successful applicants. The same registered student attended both the exams and the information session.

    Due to the effects of the new coronavirus crisis, from March onward, classes were conducted remotely. When in-school classes resumed on June 29, a different boy showed up pretending to be the registered student. The school held term finals in early July, and then went on summer break. Even when classes resumed on Sept. 8, the boy continued to attend as if he was the registered student. Teachers and others at the school failed to notice that the boy and the one on their records were not the same person.

    The deception came to light because Kaisei Senior High School had not received a cumulative guidance report for the boy, which students' former junior high schools usually send to high schools in April. When the high school contacted the registered student's former junior high school about the document, they were told it had already been sent to another high school. Kaisei then confirmed with the boy and others, and it emerged that he had been masquerading as the registered student.

    Yoshiyuki Washizaki, the office manager at Kaisei Gakuen, responded with "no comment" when asked about the relationship between the registered student and the boy who attended the school, as well as who had actually been the one taking the remote classes.

    But Washizaki did say, "We will be thorough in our management of cumulative guidance reports to prevent a reoccurrence. If it hadn't been for the novel coronavirus, we would've been able to confirm this in April. This would not have occurred in any normal year."

    (Japanese original by Kohei Chiwaki, City News Department)

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