Regarding the Feb. 3 letter “Ex-Nova teachers stuck in limbo“: As an American who has been an expat for the past 17 years (13 in Japan), I must say the very first rule of being an expat is to always, always, have an emergency fund set aside. This fund should cover at a minimum the cost of a plane ticket home in the event employment or visa situations change.

The letter writer also complains that the Japanese government has done nothing to assist these former employees of the language-teaching company Nova. The last I knew, Nova was a private company, not an organization of the Japanese government. Why should the government provide assistance to these former private-sector employees who are not even Japanese?

The letter writer states that many of these former employees have nowhere to turn for assistance. I suggest that these people visit the embassies of their respective home countries, as embassies are the best equipped to assist these people in returning to their home country.

barry n. gray