A government advisory panel handling the accreditation of a new veterinary medicine faculty at the center of a political scandal has decided to delay making its decision until late October.
The education ministry panel, which made the decision Aug. 25, apparently found fault with the faculty’s laboratory programs and educational environment of a new life science field.
It will call on the Kake Educational Institution, which is run by a close friend of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to submit improvement plans before reaching a decision.
The institution plans to open the faculty as part of the Okayama University of Science in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, next April.
Questions have been raised at Diet sessions and by the media about the government process to approve the faculty’s opening.
The panel’s decision over accreditation was slated for the end of August if no major problems arose.
The panel is in charge of accrediting any new university or a planned university faculty. It has been examining since April whether the faculty meets the required standards.
Panel members have met in closed sessions to scrutinize details of the faculty’s setup and financial health. Plans for the new faculty were submitted in March.