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    Japan’s university entrance exams begin amid stricter anti-cheating measures

    TOKYO (XINHUA) – Japan’s two-day unified university entrance examinations started across the nation yesterday amid stricter rules to prevent cheating.

    Anti-cheating efforts have been stepped up in and around the venues after last year’s exams saw a stabbing incident and a leak of exam questions.

    As part of the new anti-cheating policy, the administrators informed test takers that using earphones while taking the test will be considered cheating and that a police report may be made if such proof is discovered. Before the exam, test-takers were also required to put their mobile phones on their desks, turn them off and put them in their bags.

    The examinations kicked off at 679 venues around the country, and the number of applicants fell by about 17,800 from last year to 512,581, of whom around 85.2 per cent are high school students, according to the National Center for University Entrance Examinations.

    A record high of 870 universities, colleges and junior colleges will use the exam results in their screening processes, according to the centre.

    In the exam cheating last year, a test taker used an Internet communication tool on her smartphone to send photographs of questions to a collaborator outside the testing venue during the exam.

    Security has also been strengthened at universities where the exams are held, with police assisting to ensure the safety of examinees.

    Last year, two test takers were stabbed in front of the University of Tokyo right before the nationwide entrance exams.

    A police officer stands guard as students head to the exam site at the University of Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN
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