NOVA receivers ask gov’t regulator to cooperate in supporting students

Court-appointed receivers for NOVA Corp., the failed operator of Japan’s largest English conversation school chain, said they have asked the government regulator to cooperate in supporting students and bailing out the firm.

The two lawyers, Toshiaki Higashibatake and Noriaki Takahashi, made the requests in a meeting Monday with high-ranking officials of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s Service Industries Division.

In response, ministry officials urged them to make their own efforts to rehabilitate the scandal-tainted, failed company. The ministry has maintained that there is no legal framework for extend assistance to listed companies that have gone under.

The receivers are trying to find a backer to help rehabilitate NOVA and resume its suspended lessons within a month.

They warned the liquidation of NOVA would have a huge impact on society, noting students have paid a total of some 40 billion yen in advance tuition fees and that the amount of wages that it has failed to pay to employees, including instructors, amounts to about 4 billion yen.

The receivers told reporters that they cannot contact Nozomu Sahashi, the founder and sacked president of Osaka-based NOVA.