A group of women in Japan filed a damages lawsuit Friday against Tokyo Medical University, claiming it rigged its entrance exams in favor of male candidates, local media reported.
The plaintiffs — 33 women who took entrance exams between the years 2006 and 2018 — demanded a compensation worth $1.2 million for the damages caused by the manipulation of the exam results, Japan's Kyodo News said.
One of the victims said in a news conference that she was "appalled" to learn there was blatant score manipulation, adding, "If we keep silent without acting, the issue will be buried."
The university had previously confirmed in August 2018 that since at least 2006 it had altered the admission test results of female applicants to keep the number of women in the student body low. The accreditation of the university was also canceled after the incident came into light.
Japanese women are highly educated in general but the country's notoriously long work hours force many out of the workplace when they start families.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made "womenomics" — or boosting women's participation in the workplace and promoting women to senior positions — a priority, but the pace of progress has been slow.