Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) officials have confirmed after an internal investigation that the organization altered entrance exams for more than a decade to favor Asians who could already read kanji.

“People who studied Japanese for less than one month but already knew kanji had a much better chance of passing than someone studying Japanese for five years,” said JLPT chairman Nobutoshi Yamazaki.

“We deliberately made non-Asian gaijin feel like they aren’t good enough to be proficient in Japanese, and for this we have been forced to say ‘moushiwake gozaimasen’.”

When asked about why there is no speaking component in the test, Yamazaki said “you don’t really need to speak that much in Japan, you just need to listen to orders from your superiors.”

The investigation also found scores were systematically reduced so students would have to pay more money to take the test again.

“This is why we never hand back full test results,” said Yamazaki.

Image: Reuters