Japanese universities rated on ease of access to sex

Men’s magazine expresses contrition over slur against female students

January 9, 2019
Kazuna Yamamoto
Tokyo international relations student Kazuna Yamamoto: "Society hasn’t changed since the time of comfort women."

A Japanese men’s magazine has apologised after ranking universities on the ease of obtaining sex from their female students.

Shukan Spa! magazine issued the mea culpa after an activist student launched a Change.org petition protesting the article.

Editor-in-chief Takashi Inukai reportedly said that the magazine had been too “salacious” in publishing an article “that possibly displeased readers”.

“We would like to apologise for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for creating a ranking…with real university names.”

The article rated five universities according to how easy it was to convince students to have sex at parties known as gyaranomi, where women typically in their 20s are paid to have drinks with wealthy men.

Three of the institutions identified – Yokohama’s Ferris University and Tokyo’s Jissen and Otsuma universities – reportedly issued statements protesting about the article, or were in the process of doing so. All three are private, women-only institutions.

The Change.org petition, issued in Japanese, English, Spanish and Norwegian, attracted more than 40,000 signatories. Author Kazuna Yamamoto, an international relations and economics undergraduate at International Christian University in Tokyo, demanded that the article be retracted.

Ms Yamamoto, founder of a lobby group called Educate For, said that Japan was due to host its first G20 summit this year. “It is ridiculous for an article such as this to be published,” her petition says. “It’s not funny at all.

“We demand that the media stops using words to discriminate, objectify, disrespect and sexualise women.” In an accompanying YouTube video she said that the magazine had also published articles on “characteristics of girls that are easy to have sex with, or alcohol to give a girl so you can sleep with her”.

Sexual discrimination against female students in Japan hit the headlines last year after a Tokyo medical school was found to have rigged entry tests to keep women out.

A subsequent education ministry investigation found that at least eight other institutions had manipulated entrance exams in similar ways, and that gender imbalance was widespread in Japanese medical schools.

It is also a feature of top-ranked institutions such as Kyoto University, where about one-quarter of students are women.


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