In this year’s entrance exam, only 30 women were accepted, compared to 141 men, the Asahi newspaper reported.

An unnamed official of Tokyo Medical University told the Yomiuri newspaper (link in Japanese) that the practice had been conducted at the school with “quiet consent,” and that it was seen as a “necessary evil” because of worries that women will drop out of the workforce once they become pregnant. The Nikkei newspaper cited an unnamed source (link in Japanese) as saying that the school wanted to ensure it could have sufficient doctors working at its affiliated hospital. An unnamed source told the Asahi newspaper that the worries were also linked to a continuing shortage of doctors in Japan.