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June 14, 2007

METI to Suspend Some NOVA Business Operations

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is to suspend part of NOVA's business operations as a punishment for the chain school's violations of laws governing the industry. NOVA was found to have lied to consumers about its services.

According to the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, "Following on-site inspections at Nova's Osaka headquarters and other locations in February, METI discovered the existence of a company manual instructing its schools to engage in illegal practices for course contracts with students as well as ways to address complaints.METI found that Nova's top management was widely involved with the wrongdoing and determined their actions to be particularly malicious, according to a senior METI official."

According to the Asahi Shinbun, "Nova will be banned from soliciting, accepting or finalizing new contracts for long-term courses that last for over a year, the sources said. The suspension order will not affect those who have already signed up for lessons, meaning that Nova’s more than 400,000 students can continue taking classes."

Nova president Nozomu Sahashi apologized in response to METIs order, but noted that as many of NOVA's students sign up for courses lasting less than a year, the impact of METI's suspension order "will be negligible."

More details about this story are available in Japanese on our sister site Eigo Kyoiku News.

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