Information for Canadians Affected by NOVA Corporation Situation

This information was posted on the website of The Embassy of Canada.
http://www.canadanet.or.jp/offices/nova071029e.shtml
The Embassy of Canada is aware from media reports that Nova Corporation filed for court protection from creditors on 26 October 2007. It is reported that preservation administrators have since been appointed to it by the court under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law. Media reports indicate that all Nova schools are currently closed.

The Embassy of Canada is monitoring the situation and remains ready to receive enquiries and provide the best advice we can to affected Canadians.

Employees with concerns should consider contacting one of the two regional Nova offices which have been tasked with responding to employee queries, the workers' union representing Nova employees, and their local labour advisory office. Contact details are:

* Nova
- West Japan: Osaka Office (06) 7688-0404
- East Japan: Tokyo Office (03) 6688-4441
Nova has advised that it is in the process of putting related information for employees including questions and answers up on its website at http://www.nova.ne.jp.

* General Union - Nova Branch: (06) 6352-9619

* The Osaka Labor Bureau, a local branch of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, has launched a consulting counter with five interpreters for foreign Nova instructors. Its phone number is 06-6344-1135.

The assistance that the Embassy of Canada is able to provide you is outlined in the Consular Service Standards page, http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/about/service_standards-en.asp.

The Embassy is unable to provide legal or labour law advice but we have provided below, contact information of local firms or organizations which offer these types of services and may be of assistance to you. Many are Tokyo-based but they should be able to direct you to resources in your vicinity:

If you did wish to look into the option of hiring a private lawyer, the Embassy can provide a list of lawyers, some with English speaking services.

* The Houterasu is a nationwide legal support center which helps callers to locate professional support in civil and criminal matters. Phone: 0570-078374. Website: http://www.houterasu.or.jp (Japanese language only)

* Tokyo Metropolitan Government Consultation Service for Foreigners: 03-5320-7744. They offer advice in English on a range of issues. Their opening times are: Monday to Friday, 9:30am - 12:00 noon and 1:30pm - 5pm.

* For employment and labour-specific advice, the following telephone number is for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Labour Advisory Service Centre for Foreigners: 03-5211-2346. They offer advice in English from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday.

* Also, many City Offices across Japan have foreign residents' consultation services. You may wish to check with your local City Office to see what services they have available.

* If you have any employment/work visa questions (i.e. sponsored visas, changing employment), you should consult the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau: http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/iic-01.html.

In the event of unemployment, we understand that some foreign employees in Japan may be eligible for unemployment benefits. We understand that it depends on what type of employment insurance the employee holds, as well as how long they have been working, and under what circumstances they ceased their employment. If you should wish to make enquiries as to whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you should consult your local Hello Work Office. The following website advises of some Hello Work Offices that are able to offer foreign language assistance: http://www.tfemploy.go.jp/en/coun/cont_2.html.


Financial Issues:

The Embassy is available to assist you in contacting your family or friends in Canada and if required, in facilitating transfers of private funds between you and your family. However, we cannot provide financial funding for Canadians to remain overseas.

Money transfer methods include wire deposits into a personal Japanese bank account (or a Canadian bank account accessible from Japan e.g. by ATM card), credit card account, or instant transfers via Western Union - Please note that the Japanese agent of Western Union is Suruga Bank which has branches located in the Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka and Aichi areas. Alternatively, your family member can contact the department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa to obtain information on how to transfer funds through the department.

If you are seeking alternative work in order to stay in Japan, you should have sufficient funding available to remain in Japan for the duration required to search out new employment. Also, please ensure to contact your nearest Immigration Bureau Office to obtain more information about changing jobs.

If you are planning to go home to Canada anytime between now and the holiday season, we strongly encourage you to start making travel arrangements immediately. Mid-December marks the beginning of the holiday/Christmas high season; consequently, airfares will rise significantly, and seats on flights home will become scarce.

We hope that this information will be of use to you.

Consular Section
Embassy of Canada
Tokyo, Japan

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