On 9 November 2018 Koike responded as follows through her lawyer;

“After studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo, Koike graduated from Cairo University in October 1976. After her return to Japan she worked as an Arabic-Japanese language interpreter for government agencies and companies".


To conclude, there are two main points that raises questions about Koike’s academic credentials;

First, she might be claiming to be a Cairo University graduate without completing the prescribed course. Second, she might be using forged degree certificates.

These two points must be examined regardless of whether Cairo University admits her graduation or not.

Following my research I found no reason to doubt the flatmate who says that that Koike did not graduate from Cairo University. Her statement is consistent and also coherent with various facts.

On the other hand, there are a number of inconsistencies in Koike’s statements.

In the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, Koike said she had stated in her book that she was “the No.1 student" because she was told by a professor that her grades were “top". But even if the degree certificates which she shows are authentic, her grade “jaiid (good)" is second from the bottom among passing grades. It is unlikely that a professor would have told Koike that her result was the top.

Despite the fact the graduation thesis was required at the Department of Sociology, Koike states otherwise. The most likely explanation to this is that she did not know that the graduation thesis was required as she did not reach the final (fourth) year as the flatmate points out.

Cairo University (Dr. Saleh) says that Koike entered the university in 1972 and graduated after four years in 1976. This contradicts with statements of many Japanese people who knew Koike in Cairo at that time, including the flatmate. It also contradicts with Koike's own statement in “Furisode Climbing the Pyramid" which says 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). Cairo University (or somebody inside the university) might have fabricated its internal records for Koike, including the graduation documents and transcripts of grades, but it seems they made a blunder of not paying attention to what Koike wrote in Japan. The best way to prove this may be to take Koike to court for examination.

We do not know if Cairo University deliberately lied about Koike's graduation.

As Dalia Shibel investigated and proved, in Egypt it is possible to use internal collaborators to rewrite academic records. It might be the case that the current President and professors are simply responding to queries from the Japanese media based on internal documents about Koike that were rewritten by someone at some point between 1976 and today. In any case, with so many allegations and testimonies coming out, Cairo University should properly investigate this case.

When Koike returned to Japan from Cairo at the age of 24, she may have never dreamt of become a politician and simply got excited when the media jumped on her and then ended up telling a false story. Later when Koike become a TV news presenter she perhaps thought she could not put on a good look if she was not a university graduate and overlaid her lies. After she become a politician there was no going back and hence insists that she had graduated.

Of course, that is not forgivable. If her academic credentials and her documents are fake, it means she committed a criminal offence, deceiving voters and violating laws for 28 years.

It is embarrassing to witness Koike speaking one or two words in rudimentary Arabic at a gathering of Arab Ambassadors or other similar occasions attended by respectable Arab guests and proudly saying to the Japanese media "I have just said a few words in Arabic". Koike’s self-proclaiming to be a Cairo University graduate would be an insult to those who graduated from Cairo University by studying Arabic and Arab culture very hard, taking the exams, and submitting their graduation thesis.

Given her dishonest attitude to stubbornly refuse to submit proofs of her academic credentials, and her response in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on the graduation thesis completely contradicting the fact, her self-contradicting statement in her book to have graduated in four years despite failing the first year, her rudimentary Arabic and testimony by the flatmate supported by documentary evidence, it is totally impossible to believe that Koike did graduate from Cairo University. Moreover, her graduation documents might not be authentic.

As a public figure Koike is naturally responsible for providing proper explanation on this matter and submitting her original degree certificates. Failing that will only mean that she has embellished her academic credentials.


Ryo Kuroki is one of the best-selling authors in Japan. He graduated from Waseda University (BA in law, 1980) and the American University in Cairo (MA in the Middle East Studies, 1986). He has so far published 25 books which are mainly economic novels and non-fictions such as "The Bulge Bracket", "Energy", "Carbon Credit Merchant". His latest title is "Rise and Fall of Japanese Apparel" (February 2020). He lives in the UK since 1988.