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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 9 - 15  > Energy of youth will forge a better future
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2019 January 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Energy of youth will forge a better future

January 14, 2019

Akahata 'current' column

Today, January 14, marks Coming-of-Age Day in Japan this year. The energy of young people in any era brings about a new dawn and forges the future. In 1916, as many as 450 students of medicine in Tokyo en masse left the school and stood up to establish a new institution on their own initiative.

They were students of a medical training school (current Nippon Medical School). At that time, school directors were competing against each other. Given the situation, they began to worry that they may not obtain government permission to practice after they graduate. The students handed a resolution or a letter of covenant to lodge a strong protest against the administrative quarrel.

Winning the cooperation of Takahashi Takuya, who had long been in government service, they succeeded in forming a medical studies institute. Then in 1918, with support from medical, political, and business quarters, the predecessor of the current Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo medical technical school, was established.

The university's founding motto is "self-motivation, self-study", meaning that the students must think, decide, and act by themselves to create their own path. Ever since, this spirit has continued to be told to all the staff and students.

However, the reality is far away from the ideal. It was revealed last year that Tokyo Medical University had unfairly disadvantaged female applicants in entrance exams and also had frequently conducted "backdoor admissions". The university treated prospective students of physicians or of important graduates favorably and, asked by politicians, gave extra points on test scores to specific applicants in their exams. It was even suspected to have received money in return, according to the report issued late last year by a third-party investigative panel.

It may be difficult for young people to have a feeling of hope in the society where injustice and lies prevail, but at the same time, it is their united power that can build a better society.

Past related articles:
> University discriminating against women received 80 million yen in subsidies for women’s careers support against women [August 9, 2018]
> Medical workers’ union protests against medical university’s discrimination against women [August 8, 2018]

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