Fake degree scandals are a dime a dozen in South Korea (click here, here or here for recent examples) . The testing/credential-obsessed nation has been forced to do some soul-searching as it turned out that non-Korean English teachers (mostly teaching kids at private language schools) weren't the only ones being dishonest.
Now it appears that the same thing is going on in Japan. Personally, I'm not surprised because like South Korea, Japan is also crazy about testing kids into oblivion in order to earn four-year holidays at name-brand schools so that they can then cop desk jobs at name-brand companies.
The story in the Yomiuri was quiet enough. Japan has suffered through its own share of corruption scandals this year. Dishonesty has been rife enough in business and politics that people are a little corruption-weary at this point, so there's no telling if the masses are willing to tolerate another eduction-related scandal at this point. Many will recall the string of bullying-related suicidesbullying-related suicides that broke in junior and senior high schools at the end of 2006. Perhaps this next scandal will have to wait until 2008.
In case you didn't read it, here's a quote from the Yomiuri article:
Forty-eight academics at 43 universities possess bogus diplomas they were
awarded by overseas organizations claiming to be universities, an Education,
Science and Technology Ministry investigation has revealed.
The "overseas organizations claiming to be universities" are, of course, diploma mills. So, yes, this is exactly the same as what has been going on in South Korea. It should be interesting to see how everyone deals with this in the coming months. However, the way that the Japanese media has dealt with it thus far signals that they are content not to add to the soul-searching that is already going on.