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Rakuten and Fast Retailing Boost Eikaiwa

With Rakuten and Fast Retailing making English the first language in their offices, the Daily Yomiuri Online says that it has given English conversation schools a much needed boost:

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Nova and GEOS are under new management. The new boss is Kobe-based food and beverage importer and distributor Hanshin Shuhan. According to the Yomiuri shimbun, Foodys, the current parent company of Nova and GEOS, is to hand over its 50.98% share in the eikaiwa schools to Hanshin Shuhan by the end of August.

My God, What Have We Done?

Those are the infamous words of Bob Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, following the world's first use of a nuclear weapon. What have we done, indeed.

Kim Hyon Hui Holidays in Japan

For the life of me, I cannot wrap my head around why Kim Hyon Hui is in Japan. She blows up KAL flight 858 in 1987, killing all aboard, is arrested, sentenced to death, pardoned, marries one of her bodyguards, writes a book about her days as a spy, and now leads a presumably comfortable but secluded life in South Korea. But because she met some of the Japanese abductees, Japan has seen fit to let her into the country despite her crimes where she has been kicking back at Yukio's summer pad in Karuizawa and is slated to take a helicopter tour of Mt. Fuji today. What the hell?

How Fortress Japan Bilked its Victims

This got buried in my stack of stuff to do, but why not haul out the rotten corpse that is Fortress Japan for another round of flogging? To recap, the Consumer Affairs Agency shut down Fortress Japan in February for six months over its coercive methods of signing up new students. The agency's report [PDF] contains five case studies that illustrate how Fortress Japan did business.

Eikaiwa: 

Will the JET Program Get the Axe?

F*cked Gaijin links to an entry by Jim Gannon on jetwit.com about how the JET Program has been put on the chopping block by the DJP jjigyo shiwake government waste panel.

G.Com to Close Two Schools in Nagano

According to the Mainichi shuimbun, G.communication is to close two schools this month in Nagano. G.communication operates four GEOS schools and two children's schools in the prefecture. The Matsumoto school will close on the 20th and the Saku school on the 31st. A spokesperson called the closures the result of an "overall management decision."

EFL Job Survey

Help Douglas out by taking part in his survey:

Dear colleagues,

My name is Douglas Meyer, and I am organizing a nation-wide survey on our EFL profession. I am interested in the various working conditions, opinions and thoughts on language education in Japan, and have made an easy-to-complete (5-6 minute) anonymous online survey to gather your input. Please forward this message to friends if you have already completed the survey.

Japan: 

The Japanese Way

Comedy gold!

Page launched an unfair dismissal claim against GEOS, which comes under the umbrella of the GEOS Corporation founded by Japanese businessman Tsuneo Kusunoki.

But the company responded by claiming that Page "accepted understanding of the 'Japanese way' of doing business". They went on to say he was used to Kusunoki "ranting", "berating" and "humiliating" people "so this was nothing new".

Japan: 

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