Japan today launched an unprecedented probe into gender discrimination at all the nation's medical universities after a Tokyo medical school admitted altering the entrance test results of female applicants to exclude them.
Authorities said they would also check the gender ratio of successful applicants for the past six months, confirming it was the first ever such nationwide investigation.
"If their answers are judged as not reasonable, we will ask additional questions or visit them directly," a ministry official said, adding that the results of the probe would be published as early as next month.
The alterations reportedly stretched back as far as 2006 and apparently aimed to keep the ratio of women in the school at 30 per cent or lower.
The scandal was uncovered by investigators looking into claims the university padded the scores of an education ministry bureaucrat's son to help him gain admission.
According to local media, other instances had been discovered where individual entrance test scores were revised upwards, suggesting potential favouritism.
The scores for female applicants, however, were lowered across the board.
Japan's notoriously long work hours and a male-dominated business culture force many women out of the workplace when they start families.
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