Kyodo News

High court orders medical school to pay damages for gender-biased entrance exams

The Tokyo High Court has ordered a medical university to pay compensation to a group of women who said their entrance exam scores were lowered because of their gender.

The lawsuit was originally filed by 28 women who failed Tokyo Medical University's entrance exams from 2006 to 2018.

Last September, a lower court awarded 27 of them a total of over 18 million yen, worth around 130,000 dollars. Sixteen of the plaintiffs appealed the ruling.

On Tuesday, Tokyo High Court Presiding Judge Masuda Minoru said that adjusting test scores based on gender violates the principles of the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable discrimination and stipulates equality under the law.

He said the university infringed on the plaintiffs' freedom to choose a school and sit for an entrance exam on their own volition, regardless of whether they were affected by being admitted to the school or not.

The court ordered the university to pay compensation worth nearly 149,000 dollars to 15 of them, by increasing payments to some plaintiffs compared to the lower court ruling.

The lower court said it was unjust that the school failed to disclose that it was adjusting the scores. But the high court went further by calling the gender-biased score-rigging discriminatory.