General Union forces re-investigation into ex-NOVA president, Sahashi

May 12, 2009

The decision by the prosecutors to drop charges against NOVA for the largest incidence of non-payment of wages since WW2 was wrong.

There had been allegations including fraud and breach of trust made against Sahashi, yet he escaped those charges and was only charged with embezzlement of the employees’ social fund, which was not the main charge the prosecutors were after.

As for the non-payment of wages, even though the amount and the number of employees involved were the biggest ever, the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office dropped the charges against him for the incomprehensible reason that “he had intentions to pay (but he failed.)”

For those politicians who were “close” with Sahashi at the time, including the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and some LDP MPs, it might have been something that they wanted to hush up quickly.

General Union instructors appealed for re-investigation of charges

This was not acceptable to the hundreds of thousands of angry consumers/students who lost money and 5,000 dismissed employees. And what is the point of the Labor Standards Law if it is not enforced?

So, those non-Japanese instructors and Japanese staff who reported non-payment to the Osaka Chuo Labour Standard Bureau then appealed to the “Committee for the Inquest of the Prosecution” (the auditors of the Public Prosecutors) for a review of the propriety of the decision not to prosecute. On February 12, Osaka No.2 Committee for the Inquest of the Prosecution notified the General Union and the instructors and staff involved that they were “starting our review of the case regarding your appeal on our authority.”

On March 24, the Committee ruled that “the decision by the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office not to prosecute Sahashi was unjust.” The reason they stated for the decision was that “it was foreseeable that the company would have to pay the vast amount of wages, but it was not carried out in good faith.” This puts the finger on the investigation by the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office.

We hope that all the cases will be reopened and all the crimes committed by Sahashi will come to light, and a fair verdict will be passed on all cases, as well as the attempt by the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office to settle the case quickly will be reviewed in court.