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Naked Theft

Stories about dodgy eikaiwa practices

Nova: One Year Later

One year ago today, NOVA collapsed after Nozomu Sahashi was ousted in a coup d'etat by his directors who then filed for protection under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law. NOVA officially went bankrupt on November 26, with g.communication picking over the carcass of the Pink Bunny for any juicy tidbits.

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The Struggle for Unpaid Wages Continues

Remember when the Osaka Labor Bureau sought to have Sahashi charged with non-payment of wages earlier this year? Prosecutors shot that idea down because they couldn't determine if the non-payment was deliberate or due to the company's poor financial state.

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Sahashi Sued for 16 Million Yen

A class action lawsuit has been filed against NOVA. This time, 24 former students are suing Sahashi, five of his directors, and accounting firm KPMG AZSA & Co. for ¥16 million.

The group says they want the truth and those responsible to be held accountable, citing that about ¥56 billion yen was never returned to NOVA'S 300,000 students.

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The Anger Over Gateway21's Bankruptcy

Reporting on companies that go bankrupt follows a predictable script. First, the shocking news of the bankruptcy is announced followed by a few more details. Next, are the stories about the people who lost their money, which are then followed by the stories of anger from the people who lost their money. The Chugoku Shimbun brings us a story about the anger.

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How the Money Disappeared

The October 26 edition of the Yomiuri Weekly carries an article that illustrates how much of a scam the travel abroad sector is--it's all about money, and the rules to protect consumers from being swindled are few and far between. The YW takes a look at why Gateway21's clients will never see the ¥950 million they paid the company.

Gateway Students Catch a Break

When Gateway21 announced that it was bankrupt, there was talk of students already studying abroad having to return home due to Gateway stopping payments to overseas schools. Some students appear to have caught a break:

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TBS Interviews Fukui

On Wednesday, TBS aired an exclusive interview with Tomomasa Fukui, president of the failed study abroad agency, Gateway21, in which he said the company failed due to poor management. Fukui also denied embezzling any of the ¥950 million in fees paid by students.

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Down the Money Hole

Failed study abroad agent Gateway21 held a meeting Sunday to apologize to its clients, telling them that their money had vanished into thin air.

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Gateway21 Files for Bankruptcy

Another sign that the eikaiwa industry is still in trouble: Gateway21 plans to file for bankruptcy protection with debts totaling 1.29 billion yen.

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Fortress Japan/Global Trinity Sued

Osaka-based NPO, Kansai Consumer's Support Organization, has sued English conversation school operator Fortress Japan for "undue solicitations."

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