Patrick Budmar

For Patrick Budmar's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Six years following bankruptcy, Nova boosts the brand

| Nov 3, 2013

Six years following bankruptcy, Nova boosts the brand

In September, Tokyo-based Jibun Mirai Associe Co. (JMA) announced it would adopt Nova as its official corporate name — 19 months after it acquired the eikaiwa (English conversation) school chain from its previous operators, and almost six years after its well-publicized downfall. It has been ...

Nova's restructuring laid the foundations for Geos' revival

| Dec 18, 2012

Nova's restructuring laid the foundations for Geos' revival

This year marked the fifth anniversary of the collapse of English language school giant Nova, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 26, 2007. Under the guidance of Nagoya-based G.Communication, the cram school and restaurant operator that initially bailed out the company, Nova was able ...

Niseko puts faith in powder to revive tourism boom

| Oct 16, 2012

Niseko puts faith in powder to revive tourism boom

Throughout most of the 2010s, the meteoric rise in popularity of Hokkaido's ski resorts among foreign visitors was widely documented in both the domestic and overseas media. In particular, the quiet town of Niseko in southwestern Hokkaido, 100 km west of Sapporo, quickly and somewhat ...

With Berlitz beaten but not bowed, union fights on

| Sep 4, 2012

With Berlitz beaten but not bowed, union fights on

Before instructors became embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Berlitz Japan, there was a time when the English language school chain's robust image made it a top choice among foreign job-seekers. In particular, it was the company's good reputation over competing language chains that ...

The curious case of the eroding <em>eikaiwa</em> salary

| Jul 3, 2012

The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary

Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan. One only has to contrast the birth of the eikaiwa (English conversation) business in the late '80s, ...