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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 11 - 17  > Scandal-tainted ‘Kake Gakuen’ university admits giving zero score to all South Korean students in entrance exam
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2020 March 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Scandal-tainted ‘Kake Gakuen’ university admits giving zero score to all South Korean students in entrance exam

March 11, 2020
The Education Ministry on March 10 at a Diet committee meeting said that in the 2019 entrance examination for a private university in western Japan, all applicants from South Korea received a zero score in the oral part of the test and were failed. This was a reply to Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Fujino Yasufumi who took up the allegation of racism concerning the manner in which the examination was administered.

The Education Ministry’s explanation is based on the hearing with the university in question, Okayama University of Science (Okayama Pref.), run by the school corporation Kake Gakuen.

Fujino said to the Justice Minister that if the university gave poor marks to the South Korean students because of their nationality, its act should be recognized as racial discrimination and is thus totally unacceptable. He stressed, “The Cabinet should handle this issue with a determination that racism must not be tolerated.”

The university’s operator, the Kake Gakuen school corporation, is headed by Kake Kotaro, who is a close friend of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The university in 2018 set up a new faculty of veterinary medicine. In this regard, it is alleged that PM Abe used his influence to help the university obtain government permission to open the new faculty.

Last week, a major weekly magazine revealed that the university discriminated against South Korean students in the 2019 entrance examination for the university’s veterinary school. Following the revelation, the Education Minister promised to look into the matter.

The Education Ministry on March 10 reported on the findings made so far at a directors’ meeting of the House of Councilors Budget Committee. According to the ministry, the university admitted that in the entrance examination in the fall 2019, all students from South Korea were given a zero score in the interview part of the exam and were rejected. The university, however, denied a racist intent, arguing that some Japanese students also received a zero score in the oral examination test and that South Korean students passed another entrance examination held later for the veterinary faculty.

Past related articles:
> Kake Gakuen president denies allegations of Abe’s favoritism in new veterinary school plan [June 20&22, 2018]
> Suspicion of nepotism surrounding private university operated by Abe’s friend [May 21, 2017]
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