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Japanese cheating suspect 'didn't want mom to stress'

TOKYO -- A test-preparation school student arrested over the posting of university entrance exam questions on an Internet bulletin board has told police he cheated as he did not want to bother his mother with his expenses, sources said.

“As (my family) is badly off, I didn't want my mother to stress (about money). I therefore wanted to pass the Kyoto University exams (because of the university's low tuition fees) by any means possible,” he was quoted as saying.

“I planned to cheat before I took the exam, and repeatedly practiced posting (questions) on the bulletin board. I knew it was wrong,” he was quoted as saying.

The 19-year-old student allegedly posted all the questions from the mathematics exam and some from the English test in Kyoto University's second-stage examinations last month from his seat in the exam room onto Yahoo Japan Chiebukuro (pearls of wisdom), a question-and-answer site. He is also suspected of having posted exam questions from three other universities.

The Kyoto prefectural police arrested the student Thursday on suspicion of obstructing the university's operations by fraudulent means.

The student's father died in the autumn of 2009 during the youth's third year at a Yamagata prefectural high school. He failed to pass the university entrance examinations he took during his last year of high school, police said.

Last spring, he left his parental home in Yamagata Prefecture, where he lived with his mother who works in a job related to nursing care, and entered the Sendai campus of the major test-preparation school Kawaijuku Educational Institution. As far as his friends and those related to his high school were concerned, the teenager was thought to have excellent academic abilities, sources said.

However, he failed to get good marks at two-day unified college entrance examinations, known as the National Center Test for University Admissions, held on Jan. 15 and 16. “(In order to get into Kyoto University,) he had to do extremely well on the (university's) examination. He seemed anxious,” a Kawaijuku official said.

The student, who received a monthly stipend of 50,000 yen from his mother, said he did not want to cause her any more trouble, according to the police.

“I was stressed out as I lost my father and had to spend one year preparing for university entrance examinations after leaving high school. I saw a doctor at a clinic near my home about once a month,” police quoted him as saying.

In the afternoon of the second day of the National Center Test, he posted a comment on the online bulletin board, suggesting he was thinking of committing suicide.

Regarding his Internet user name, “aicezuki,” he reportedly told police: “There's no significance, it has no special meaning. I just felt like using that name.”

After investigating the case, prosecutors plan within 20 days to send the student's case to a family court. They will also recommend what kind of punishment he should receive.

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