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>Getting Japan Right


Hokkaido professors receive cash, gift certificates from PhD recipients

When you read the following story think of the fellow students who were hurt or discriminated against because they played the learning game straight. I guess in Sapporo, Japan it was easier for the rich kids to get their PhDs than the poor ones because there were cash “kickbacks” indicating somebody did someone a favor and was paid for it. Japan is not the only country where professorial favors are shown to certain students and not to the student body at large. I’m speaking about the athletes who oftentimes get passing grades when had they not been on the “team” they would have failed. It happens, folks. All in the name of school spirit, but you won’t see the school publicist or the Associated Press writing about it.

SAPPORO —Nine professors and associate professors at Hokkaido University received cash and gift certificates from seven people who acquired doctorate degrees after their theses were examined by them between fiscal 2007 and 2008, the university said Wednesday.

According to the state-run university’s internal survey, the nine who received the gifts belong to the graduate schools of agriculture, engineering and science and one of them received up to 150,000 yen in cash from two PhD recipients.

Masaaki Hemmi, vice president of the university, said, ‘‘We are ashamed that incidents degrading the dignity of academic dissertations have happened. We will work on measures to prevent recurrence,’’ claiming it will prohibit faculty from receiving gifts and other benefits from people applying for academic degrees. Read more at