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Sahashi Stole From Employees' Fund

The Yomiuri Shimbun has a story on how former Nova president Nozomu Sahashi as stealing from his employees.

Says the Yomiuri:

About 300 million yen contributed by employees of the bankrupt language school chain Nova Corp. to a staff welfare fund was transferred to a company bank account in July to cover operating costs and done without the approval of employees, the police have said.

According to the police, former Nova president Nozomu Sahashi ordered the transfer of the entire balance of the fund to a Nova business account to allow the payment of refunds to students who had canceled contracts with the financially troubled firm.


Held in a bank account, the fund was managed by an employee in Nova's accounting division. The fund was rarely used and had an accumulated a balance of 300 million yen.

Given all that has happened, this isn't much of a surprise. We know that Sahashi was absolutely desperate for cash after METI sanctioned Nova last June. In fact, this may be old news. Back in November, I posted a translation from the Chugoku Shimbun about money from an employee fund ending up in Sahashi's pockets:

It was learned that money collected from employees for a fund called shayuuhi was diverted to run the company by English conversation school operator Nova. According to a former executive, "It's possible that some money went into former president Nozomu Sahashi's slush fund."

According to an official, Y2,000 a month was deducted from employee's salaries to be used as an offering in times of gratitude and sympathy. Virtually all of the Japanese staff paid into it, with more than 2,000 members contributing to the fund at the end of March. In April 2004, the deduction was reportedly raised to Y2,000 from Y1,500 with no explanation given.

The former executive alleges that money from the fund had long been diverted as operating capital and there were even directors who were unaware of how the money was spent. He added that the money may have been used by Sahashi for entertainment expenses.

Have the police finally connected the dots on Sahashi's shady antics? If they ever find him, it's almost certain he'll end up in jail.




That Saru is a crafty bloke. He never let on in the Union negotiations that he could be so ruthless and cunning. Hats off to Saru.

Glad to see this story about Sahashi was reported on TV as well:

I still can't quite figure out how Gcom is still open or how nothing seems to have happened to any management from Nova. It just seems strange to me. Perhaps someone who understands the situtaion a bit more can explain.

G-COM's practices are even more illegal and shady than Saruhashi's ones but the Trustee keep his mouth shut although he must have hear about it and has a part of responsibility as HE has chosen them. I can't help but thinking Saruhashi is "again" a convenient "nowhere to find" target to keep the public not looking at the reel and present matter.

They are paying us a bad Kimutaku's drama to cover the fact that none of the issues has been addressed since METI's decision and things are getting worse for people still working in this industry.

Interesting enough, the other day, on the train on my way to Osaka, I met I nice old lady who happened to be a former nova and now a G-shit student. She told me that she's very unhappy with new nova lessons. She said that it's very difficult to book a lesson and that when she manages to book one she has to study in a classroom with four other students. Moreover, not all students belong to the same level, and this makes it very difficult for both teacher and students. She also said that she'll be using the few points left and leave G-shit altogether. I wonder if this is only an isolated case or other students share the same feeling, if the latter is true I can't see how G-shit will ever be able to survive.

I got an old lady to study at my new NoVe school. She loves the lessons and has addapted to the new Old Quest lessons in a chipper way.

Where did you learn your english dude? I pray you arent a teacher...for "reel" them be some serious mistakes brosef...

Have been hearing the same thing from students at Sagamiono and Chigasaki schools. They are very pissed off not being able to book lessons , cramped conditions and poor lessons.All the ones I have spoken too will quit after their "cheap" lessons finish.

And.....Who is this twat called Lemming Ford or something , who called me up for a job when I was out, promised to call me back and didn't? Talk about job satisfaction. Getting people to work for a sinking company and telling a few fibs along the way.
After sacking us at Christmas, did they expect us to be waiting for 6 months for the golden opportunity to go through it all a 3rd time?

New Nova just seems to be sailing about madly searching for an iceberg to hit.

As of July first, Students paying 25% can reserve lessons 10 days in advance (not the previous 3 weeks) and students paying 100% can reserve lessons 14 days in advance. A point of interest, if the schedule is full for the next week, a new instructor will be opened. Nobody knows where said instructor will come from.

An old lady at your NoVe school aye? I bet you're getting lots of student satisfaction. Keep it up. You'll soon be the King of Japan!!1!

You can relax, I'm not an English teacher, never has, not in my projects to become one and I should admit English grammar is quite low in my priorities but I always welcome criticism when it's constructive so if you could give me a correction of the mistakes that irritated you so much I'll try not to repeat them again. That's what English teachers call soft correction I think...

Negotiations with the union...ha!That wouldn't take much craftiness at all. If indeed he ever did appear for such.

Wouldn't it be loverly to meet up with him in some other country and have a bit of a chat? Who knows, stranger things have happened...?

But don't go assuming he was the sole villain, in Nova, in this modern Japanese confrontation with the youth of the western world. There are other cokiburi (cockroaches) scurrying around hiding in the dark these days, hoping their roles will be forgotten. Let's hope they will not be forgotten.

Stealing money from "the employee fund"? No shock.
The employee fund was almost never actually used to benefit employees, and allowed to build up to 300 million yen? No surprise.

When I worked for the Bunny long ago, one of the J staff's apartment burned down. The Trainer went around to us gaijin staff hitting us up for a bit of cash to help him out. I refused on principle. A boss should not solicit donations from his subordinates. [Besides, the chain smoking bastard probably burned it down himself smoking in bed anyway.]
But the main thing was, wasn't the J staff going to get some money from the "employee fund" in his time of need?
Guess not.

The moves to transfer the entire employee fund into SARUhashi's pockets would explain some of the rumors of large numbers of accounting staff resigning.
Good accountants know that when your president tells you to do something illegal, you are just as likely to go to jail, or at least spend a few weeks being interrogated and lose your license.

Still waiting for the other shoe to drop, though.
Did SARUhashi also steal employees' tax deductions, health insurance payments, etc for himself instead of sending it to the government?

I'm praying that this slow process is just the system building up a case against SARUhashi. But, this is Japan, I should know better.

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