Japan has provided Egypt with a total of 152.486 billion yen (about US$1,416million) in grant aid through to 2016. Of that, Cairo University has so far received a total of 13.149 billion yen (US$122million) for the construction and expansion of a children's hospital affiliated to the university and the renovation of facilities in the School of Nursing (2 billion yen in 1980, 2 billion yen in 1981, 134 million yen in 1986, 1.788 billion yen in 1987, 981 million yen in 1988, 119 million yen in 1990, 574 million yen in 1991, 1.486 billion yen in 1992, 1.203 billion yen in 1993, 706 million yen in 1995, 598 million yen in 1996, and 1.56 billion yen in 2015).

Egypt's GDP per capita is just under one-fifteenth of Japan's. Therefore, very roughly speaking, this figure to Cairo University could be considered to be worth in Egypt about 200 billion yen (US$1.857billion).

Although no ODA loan (yen loans that need to be repaid) has been granted to Cairo University, Japan had lent the Egyptian government a total of 761.373 billion yen (aboutUS$7.069billion) through to 2016.

<Data from the Japanese Embassy in Egypt>

Dr. Adel Ameen Saleh, head of the Japanese Language Department at Cairo University's Faculty of Arts, told journalist Toshihiro Yamada in an interview "Koike failed in Arabic in her first year, but she passed following supplement lessons. At Cairo University one in four students fail but Koike graduated in four years".

He also responded to a question by Taeko Ishii saying "Koike certainly graduated in 1976 and although she failed in Arabic in 1972 as a first year student, she passed the same subject in her fourth year".

This answer is in direct conflict with testimony of many Japanese people that Koike transferred into the second year in 1973 (the testimony of the flatmate is supported by documentary evidence). Saleh’s comment also contradicts with Koike's own statement in her book “Furisode, Climbing the Pyramid" that she failed the first year and could not progress to the second year (that means she could not have graduated until 1977 at the earliest). This begs the question whether there were murky relationships between Cairo University and Koike.

The progression system of Egyptian state universities is in general as follows;

If you fail in one or two subjects, you are allowed to progress to the next grade (e.g., you progress from the first year to the second year) carrying over those failed subjects to the next grade and retake the exams of the failed subjects. If you fail in three subjects or more, you lose the whole year and cannot progress to the next grade and study again those failed subjects only in the following year.

If you fail the whole year three times, you will be dismissed from university (you can still apply for transfer to another faculty or another university with the credits you earned).

In the final (fourth) year, the rule is different. Until 2015, if you pass at least half of the subjects, you can stay in the university for the rest of your life and try to pass the remaining subjects. This time limit has changed since 2015 and it is now limited to 4 years and if unsuccessful the student is dismissed.

According to the flatmate, Koike was unable to pass the year-end exam in May 1976 and desperately tried to find a way to retake the exam (probably she was on the brink of dismissal) but could not take it as she had not reached her fourth (i.e., the final) year at the time. The flatmate’s statement is in line with the above mentioned progression system.

Probable intention of the Egyptian military government

Egypt is a country that has been ruled by the military since the transition from monarchy to republicanism in 1953, except for two years from June 2012 to June 2014, and that is still the case today. A Japanese businessman says "The military's construction corporations are awarded the country's construction work top-down from the President. A correspondent of Japanese newspapers says "All lucrative businesses are given to companies affiliated with the military".

In Egypt, large pictures of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (former Commander-in-Chief of the National Army and Minister of Defense) can be seen everywhere. The military’s grip over the nation is so strong and if the military wants to "keep Koike as a Cairo University graduate", no one can go against it. In fact, Koike has been to see President El-Sisi more than once since he took office.

Large photo of President El-Ssisi in Cairo (photo by Ryo Kuroki)
Large photos of President El-Ssisi in Cairo (photo by Ryo Kuroki)