Ex-NOVA boss questioned for breaking Labor Standards Law

Nozomu Sahashi, the founder of the failed NOVA Corp., has been questioned for breaking the Labor Standards Law by failing to pay his employees, government sources said.

Officials of the Osaka Labor Bureau of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry questioned Sahashi, 56, last Monday. They are considering whether to file a criminal complaint with law enforcers, accusing him of violating the Labor Standards Law.

During questioning, Sahashi admitted that the company failed to pay wages to employees. “We tried to raise the money to pay wages by all means, but we couldn’t,” he was quoted as telling bureau officials.

NOVA’s financial situation took a dive after the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry imposed a six-month ban from making long-term contracts with students in June for its unfair business practices.

It has not paid salaries for September and October to Japanese employees and wages for October to instructors. The unpaid wages amount to about 4 billion yen.