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Classroom Confidential

Stories from inside the classroom

Sahashi Released on Bail

I take back what I said in my last post. It's not over with Sahashi. He was released on bail last night following his sentencing. The Asahi shimbun, among other papers, carried a report of the events in the courtroom yesterday. Here's a summary of that article.

Sahashi Goes to Jail

I'll keep this short and sweet: The court found Sahashi guilty of embezzling money from NOVA's employee welfare fund and sentenced him to three and a half years in jail.

According to the ruling, on July 20, 2007, Sahashi withdrew ¥320 million from NOVA's shayuukai welfare fund, converted it into cheques, and then deposited the money into an account held by NOVA Kikaku, a company that he controlled.

NOVA Trustees Sue Sahashi

The legal woes of former NOVA president Nozomu Sahashi aren't about to let up. While a decision on his current trial is due to be handed down on August 26, the trustees overseeing NOVA's bankruptcy have sued him for aggravated breach of trust, seeking ¥2.1 billion (roughly $22.6 million USD) in damages over the sale of videophone units by Ginganet, a company in which Sahashi was the sole share holder, to NOVA.

One Test to Rule Them All

In Japan, that test is supposed to be TOEIC, the Test of English for International Communication, which turns 30 this year. The Japan Times has a two-part series on the test, starting with a brief history.

The Lingering Ghost of NOVA

It's getting close to Obon, so it's time for a ghost story.

Yano Research has released its latest survey of the foreign language market, which shows that the market is still in decline.

The two key findings are:

G.Communication Fails to Report Income

The Yomiuri shimbun and other news agencies are reporting that president of G.communication, Masaki Inayoshi, has failed to report ¥500 million (about $5.2 million USD) in income. The unreported income comes from him selling 230 shares in G.communication in 2007. Inayoshi reported the sales of some shares in 2006, which led the National Tax Agency to believe that his failure to report the income this time was intentional.

The Dirty Undertaking of Dispatch Companies

The Yomiuri Shimbun, via Yahoo!, has a story about the dark underbelly of ALT dispatch companies as English will become a compulsory subject in the fifth and sixth grades in 2011.

For example, schools have to deal with the constant turnover of ALTs. One BOE member in Saitama related that he is on his 4th ALT quit since April. This revolving door of teachers is not conducive to learning.

More Details on the Coming Change in Visa Renewals

The Japan Times has a good summary of the issues surrounding the changes to the visa renewal process starting in April 2010. I blogged about this a while back, but the Japan Times column covers some of the implications of having to enroll in an insurance scheme in order for foreigners to renew their work visas.

Eikaiwa in Bad Shape

Terrie Lloyd's column in Japan Today is supposed to be a look at the state of eikaiwa in Japan, but it's a poor effort stuffed with meaningless business-speak. Teaching English has been on a downward slide ever since Japan's asset bubble burst. The collapse of NOVA only served to make things worse. Let's take a look at the column.

Free Coffee and Foreigners After Five

In the forums, Inflames provides a link to a G.communication PDF. It seems that they have decided to rent out space at its Yaesu school. There's nothing unusual about this as businesses look for ways to generate revenue during the economic collapse. I've heard about parts manufacturers making confectioneries to help make ends meet. Still, it suggests that business isn't very good at the Yaesu school.

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