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Nova reinstated as name of English-language school chain

Kyodo

Jibun Mirai Associe Co., which took over bankrupt English-language school Nova, said it has set up a fully owned subsidiary under that name to operate the chain of schools.

The firm decided to retain the Nova name because it is a well known brand, and it has already been using it for class names and other purposes since the takeover. The new Nova, established Monday, is based in Tokyo.

Jibun Mirai Associe said that by officially reinstating the Nova corporate name, it is hoping to create a strong impression of the brand’s revival. The company also said it has changed its name to Nova Holdings Co. to take charge of the schools’ management and administration.

Nova Holdings said it currently operates 336 schools with some 66,000 students.

Last November, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Nova founder Nozomu Sahashi against his conviction for embezzling ¥320 million from employee benefit funds, finalizing his two-year prison term.

Sahashi was convicted of transferring the sum accumulated at an entity in charge of the funds to a bank account of a Nova subsidiary in July 2007 to reimburse students who had signed contracts that they subsequently canceled. Nova’s language teachers also filed a criminal complaint over their unpaid salaries, but Sahashi wasn’t charged over that issue.

Sahashi launched English conversation classes in 1981 and set up Nova in 1990. His venture grew into one of Japan’s largest chains of English-language schools, with around 480,000 people taking Nova lessons at its peak.