Debito.org’s stance on the Carlos Ghosn Case, at last: A boardroom coup making “thin legal soup” that might shame Japan’s “hostage justice” judicial system into reform

mytest

Books, eBooks, and more from Debito Arudou, Ph.D. (click on icon):
Guidebookcover.jpgjapaneseonlyebookcovertextHandbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)sourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbFodorsJapan2014cover
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free “LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
https://www.facebook.com/embeddedrcsmJapan
http://www.facebook.com/handbookimmigrants
https://www.facebook.com/JapaneseOnlyTheBook
https://www.facebook.com/BookInAppropriate
If you like what you read and discuss on Debito.org, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
Donate towards my web hosting bill! All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

ED’S NOTE DEC 31, 2019:  UPDATING THIS POST FROM FEB 2019 BECAUSE OF CARLOS GHOSN’S REEMERGENCE IN BEIRUT, HAVING SOMEHOW ESCAPED FROM THE CLUTCHES OF THE JAPANESE JUDICIARY.  THE BEST ARTICLE I’VE FOUND ON THIS EVENT IS ON THE DAILY BEAST HERE.  

DEBITO.ORG HAS COME DOWN DECISIVELY IN FAVOR OF GHOSN’S ESCAPE, AS CH 6 OF BOOK “EMBEDDED RACISM” DEPICTS JAPAN’S JUDICIARY AS DECIDEDLY AGAINST JUSTICE FOR NJ CAUGHT IN THEIR “HOSTAGE JUSTICE” SYSTEM.  FACT IS, GHOSN NEVER STOOD A CHANCE OF A FAIR TRIAL, ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF ALLEGATIONS THAT HAVE SURFACED LATER THAT INDICATE NISSAN’S OWN (JAPANESE) CEO IS JUST AS GUILTY OF SIMILAR “CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR” THAT DID NOT RESULT IN ARRESTS.  

READ ON FOR THE REASON WHY DEBITO.ORG BELIEVES THE GHOSN CASE WAS A FLIMSY ONE FROM THE START.  AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.  — Debito Arudou Ph.D.

=============================================

Hi Blog. Debito.org has been holding back on commenting on the Carlos Ghosn arrest.  A former president of Nissan and Mitsubishi, Ghosn was a hero in many circles for saving the formerly struggling Japanese automakers and making them world players again.  (Disclosure:  I’ve owned a number of Nissans, and found their quality improved over the years.)  So imagine everyone’s surprise (not the least his) when he’s returning from an overseas meeting last November and suddenly gets arrested at Haneda Airport (along with a fellow NJ associate), and thrown in the clink without trace for the standard 48 hours without charge, then a couple of ten-day periods before re-arrest and repeat.

The reason Debito.org has been holding back is because, well, actually, what happened to Ghosn after arrest is not all that surprising from a jurisprudential perspective.  This could happen to anyone regardless of nationality (excepting the general denial of bail for NJ).  And I personally have to admit feeling just a shade of schadenfreude for a filthy-rich one-percenter getting taken down a peg.

Truth is, I wanted to see if he’d get the standard treatment afforded most perps in Japan — a few weeks, months, or even more than a year of disappearing while being put under constant duress until you sign a confession (aka “hostage justice“).  Plus the standard treatment given NJ under arrest — an additional presumption of a lack of human rights for foreigners.  More on all that in my book Embedded Racism, Ch. 6, “A Chinaman’s Chance in Japanese Court”. I did comment on Ghosn for The Japan Times in my annual year-end round-up Just Be Cause column (published version here, “Director’s Cut” here).

Well, Ghosn has gotten the treatment.  Except for the fact he’s been able to communicate with the media in high-profile interviews.  More on that below.  So here’s Debito.org’s long-awaited comment about the Ghosn Case (from that “Director’s Cut”):

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

DEBITO.ORG COMMENTS:  The former CEO of Nissan and Mitsubishi motors (but remaining as CEO at Renault), Ghosn was arrested last November and indicted in December for inter alia allegedly underreporting his income for tax purposes. As of this writing, he remains in police custody for the 23-day cycles of interrogations and re-arrests, until he confesses to a crime.

This event has been well-reported elsewhere, so let’s focus on the JBC issues: Ghosn’s arrest shows how far you can fall if you’re foreign. Especially if you’re foreign.

One red flag was that the only two people arrested in this fiasco have been foreign: Ghosn and his associate, Greg Kelly. Kelly is now out on bail due to health concerns. But where are the others doing similar malfeasances? According to Reuters, Kobe Steel underreported income in 2008, 2011, and 2013, and committed data fraud for “nearly five decades.” Same with Toray and Ube Industries, Olympus, Takata, Mitsubishi Materials, Nissan, and Subaru.

Who’s been arrested? Nobody but those two foreigners.

And Japan’s judicial system has a separate track for NJ suspects, including harsher jurisprudence for NJs accused of crimes, lax jurisprudence for NJ victims of crimes, uneven language translation services, general denial of bail for NJ, an extra incarceration system for subsequent visa violations while in jail, and incarceration rates for NJs four times that for citizens. (See my book Embedded Racism, Ch. 6.)

Most indicative of separate and unequal treatment is that some of the accusations, which fall under a statute of limitations of seven years under the Companies Act, are still applicable. Prosecutors have argued that statutes do not apply to Ghosn because he spent time overseas. Apparently even the passage of time is different for foreigners, because the clock stops if they ever leave Japan!

It’s Debito.org’s view that this is a boardroom coup. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Ghosn was planning to oust a rival, Hiroto Saikawa, who has since taken Ghosn’s place as CEO. A similar thing happened to at Olympus in 2011, when CEO Michael Woodford broke ranks and came clean on boardroom grift. He was fired for not understanding “Japanese culture,” since that’s the easiest thing to pin on any foreigner.

But in Woodford’s case, he was fired, not arrested and subjected to Japan’s peculiar system of “hostage justice” police detention, where detainees are denied access to basic amenities (including sleep or lawyers) for weeks at a time, and interrogated until they crack and confess, with more than 99% conviction rates.

The good news is that finally overseas media is waking up to what Japan’s Federation of Bar Associations and the UN Committee Against Torture have respectively called “a breeding ground for false charges” and “tantamount to torture.” Funny thing is, if this had happened in China, we’d have had howls much sooner about the gross violations of Ghosn’s human rights.

(Source on “statute of limitations does not apply:” “Japan’s Companies Act has a statute of limitations of seven years. Prosecutors argue this does not apply due to the amount of time Ghosn has spent outside the country.”
https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Nissan-s-Ghosn-crisis/Ghosn-rearrested-for-alleged-aggravated-breach-of-trust
Other irregularities noted in the JT by Glen Fukushima: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/12/20/commentary/japan-commentary/seven-questions-ghosn-nissan/)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Well, the news is now Ghosn’s case has been picked over by the media (the charges are being called “thin soup” below).  And Ghosn’s high-profile status has enabled him to get a high-profile interview with the Nikkei newspaper below (for fifteen minutes, with a five-minute extension).  Few if any other people incarcerated in this system have this much ability to draw attention and make their case to the public.

Moreover, since Ghosn’s Japanese language abilities are probably not at the level of the language in his interview, it’s reasonable to assume  the interview was in English.  In my direct experience in dealing with other incarcerated foreigners, if they talk with anyone they must do it with a guard present, and they must speak in Japanese at all times so the guard can understand what’s being said.  Ghosn’s ability to get around that rule seems to be another trapping of his privilege.

That’s a bit annoying.  But if it eventually shines light on an abuse of the Japanese judicial system in specific (i.e., uneven enforcement of the law), and shames Japan into reforming its “hostage justice” interrogation system in general, then some good may come of it.

In the end, the Ghosn Case, on top of the the Woodford Case, remain excellent reasons why foreigners shouldn’t hope to become executives in Japanese companies.  One boardroom coup later by the nativists, you could be in jail for being CEO while foreign. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

////////////////////////////////////////////////

NISSAN’S GHOSN CRISIS
Exclusive interview: Ghosn says ‘plot and treason’ led to arrest
Ex-Nissan chief claims rivals wanted to ‘get rid’ of him
Nikkei Asian Review, Nikkei staff writers, January 30, 2019
https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Nissan-s-Ghosn-crisis/Exclusive-interview-Ghosn-says-plot-and-treason-led-to-arrest

In his first interview since being detained on Nov.19, ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn claimed that certain people had “distorted reality” for the purpose of “getting rid of him.”

TOKYO — Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn told Nikkei in an exclusive interview Wednesday that he had “no doubt” that the charges against him were the result of “plot and treason” by Nissan executives opposed to his plan for deeper integration between Renault and its two Japanese alliance partners.

Speaking on the 10th floor of the Tokyo Detention House, dressed in a black fleece jacket and gray sweatpants, Ghosn acknowledged that “there was a plan to integrate” Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. The plans had been discussed with Nissan President Hiroto Saikawa in September, he added.

In his first interview since being detained on Nov. 19, Ghosn claimed that he had wanted to include Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko in the talks, but “Saikawa wanted it one-on-one.”

Once the three automakers were more closely integrated, Ghosn wanted to ensure there would be “autonomy under one holding company,” he said, adding that this plan was in line with how he had operated the alliance in past years.

Allies of Ghosn’s have argued that some Nissan executives feared a further concentration of power under his leadership, prompting them to cooperate with Tokyo prosecutors.

Nikkei had been requesting a one-on-one interview with Ghosn since his arrest last year. The approval was granted this week.

Ghosn was allowed by the Tokyo District Court to speak with Nikkei. Media interviews with prominent business leaders in detention are extremely rare in Japan.

“We don’t have much time. Let’s get started,” Ghosn said at the beginning of the interview from behind the acrylic glass partition. As the end of the allotted 15 minutes approached, he asked the officer for “a little more” time, and was granted a five-minute extension.

The Brazilian-born tycoon has dismissed accusations that his 19-year reign at Nissan was a “dictatorship,” saying this was a narrative created by rivals who wanted to remove him. “People translated strong leadership to dictator, to distort reality” for the “purpose of getting rid of me,” he added.

Ghosn has been held without bail for more than 70 days since Tokyo prosecutors arrested him on allegations of financial misconduct.

He was charged with underreporting his salary over several years, and aggravated breach of trust for allegedly transferring to Nissan personal trading losses from foreign exchange contracts.

The breach-of-trust charges center on $14.7 million in payments to a company run by Saudi businessman Khaled al-Juffali.

He denied the accusations and claimed “the executive in charge of the region signed [the approval].”

The payment was made from Ghosn’s “CEO reserve,” a pot of money that he was free to decide how to spend. He said the “CEO reserve is not a black box” and “four officers signed” for the payment to al-Juffali.

Ghosn is also accused of receiving 7.82 million euros ($8.9 million) in improper payments through Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V., a Netherlands-based joint venture between the two Japanese companies. He said the venture was established for “synergy and not for payment,” adding that the claims of improper payments were a “distortion of reality.”

Ghosn said his purchase of luxury properties in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut — which Nissan alleges were paid for improperly through a subsidiary — were approved by the legal department. Pointing to a former loyalist and long-time executive in the legal department, Ghosn said: “Hari Nada has done all this.”

He justified the houses on the grounds that he “needed a safe place where [he] can work and receive people in both Brazil and Lebanon.”

“[Have I] done [something] inappropriate? I am not a lawyer, I don’t know the interpretation of [such] facts,” Ghosn said, showing his frustration over Nissan’s internal investigation.

“These are known by everybody, why didn’t they tell me?”

Ghosn, whose second bail request was rejected Jan. 22, insisted that he was not a flight risk and he would not destroy evidence.

“I won’t flee, I will defend [myself],” he added. “All the evidence is with Nissan, and Nissan forbids all employees to talk to me.”

When asked about life in the detention center, Ghosn said “there is up and down.” As for his health, he simply said he was “doing fine.”

After his arrest, Ghosn appeared to have envisioned attending a Renault board meeting in Paris, explaining his position, and holding a news conference. But his prolonged detention in a Tokyo jail frustrated those plans.

Nissan dismissed Ghosn from his position as chairman in November. An extraordinary general meeting of shareholders scheduled in mid-April is expected to remove Ghosn as a director.

Ghosn resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault, and former Michelin chief Jean-Dominique Senard was appointed as the chairman.

The three members of the alliance are expected to revisit how it is operated in the absence of Ghosn’s leadership. “I cannot speculate about the future of the alliance,” Ghosn said.

The French government, Renault’s largest shareholder, has previously requested Ghosn make the relationship between the two automakers “irreversible.”

Following Ghosn’s arrest, France also informed Tokyo of an intention to press ahead with integration. Saikawa, in contrast, has insisted there is “no need for now to discuss [it].”

Interviewed by Nikkei commentator Atsushi Nakayama and Nikkei staff writers Akito Tanaka and Yosuke Kurabe.

/////////////////////////////////////

OPINION
Ghosn charges are thin soup — case for ex-Nissan boss
Prosecutors fail to make a strong case against car maker’s former chief
By Stephen Givens, Nikkei Asian Review, January 29, 2019
https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Ghosn-charges-are-thin-soup-case-for-ex-Nissan-boss

Two months after his arrest at Haneda Airport and confinement at Kosuge detention center, we now have a good picture of the criminal case against Carlos Ghosn-and it looks like pretty thin soup.

As reported in the media, the evidence shows not criminal malfeasance, but at most lapses in judgment and corporate protocol that ultimately did not result in any actual harm to Nissan Motor or its shareholders or personal enrichment of Ghosn.

The criminal case turns on a series of technical and subjective judgments about whether the words of the relevant statutes and regulations apply to the transactions in question.

By any objective measure, the misconduct alleged was less serious than the corporate misfeasance that is routinely overlooked in Japan or handled by noncriminal administrative wrist-slapping.

The first, and for many weeks the only, criminal charge brought against Ghosn was that Nissan’s periodic securities filings disclosed just the currently payable portion of his compensation. They failed to report the portion deferred until after his retirement.

Ghosn’s motive for not wanting to report his full compensation currently-that it was embarrassingly large in relation to that of other Japanese CEOs and Ghosn’s Nissan colleagues — does not constitute serious criminal intent.

Further, the evidence indicates that Ghosn tried in good faith to structure the deferred compensation in a way that would permit him legally not to report it currently under the rules, which require current reporting of director-level compensation only to the extent the right to receive it has become “clear.”

Though the documentation has not been made public, it appears that it was structured as some kind of post-retirement consulting arrangement that would, at a minimum, require Ghosn to provide Nissan with services after retirement to collect the compensation.

It is hard to imagine that Nissan would have failed to report Ghosn’s deferred compensation over many years without professional legal advice that it did not need to be currently reported because Ghosn’s right to receive it was conditional.

It is equally hard to understand why Nissan’s Japanese management, having condoned the deferred compensation arrangement and its nonreporting for years, is now using it as the lead card in the criminal case.

Beyond this, criminal liability under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for false disclosure is explicitly predicated on the requirement that it be “material”- that is, it would have a significant impact on an investor’s decision to sell or buy Nissan shares.

For investors, the amount of Ghosn’s unreported deferred compensation, about $10 million per year, is clearly very small compared to Nissan’s $90 billion in annual revenues.

Meanwhile, Japan’s weak securities disclosure standards permit Nissan not to reveal information that would be much more relevant to investors, such as the terms of the “alliance” contracts between Renault, Nissan’s major shareholder, and Nissan.

It does not inspire confidence in Japan’s justice system that Ghosn’s guilt or innocence on the this charge will hinge on semantic distinctions over the meanings of “clear” and “material.”

The second criminal charge against Ghosn is for two, related claims of “aggravated breach of trust” under the Companies Act. This vaguely-worded statute imposes criminal liability on directors of a company who for personal gain “commit an act in breach of such person’s duties and causes financial damages” to the company. Typically this statute is applied to cases of embezzlement-executives taking company assets.

The first prong of the breach of trust charge has been loosely characterized in the press as “the shifting of Ghosn’s personal foreign exchange losses to Nissan” but details of the transactions disclosed by Ghosn’s lawyers show it to be less pernicious than advertised.

Ghosn entered into a foreign exchange hedging transaction with Shinsei Bank to protect his yen-denominated Nissan compensation against the risk of depreciation. Like many others he failed to anticipate the financial crisis of 2008, which sent the yen soaring and reduced the value of the Nissan securities he had offered Shinsei Bank as collateral.

Shinsei Bank asked Ghosn for additional security. Ghosn considered offering the value of his uncashed Nissan retirement allowance-but doing so would have required him actually to leave Nissan at a time he was a vital part of the management. Instead, he asked Nissan to guarantee his downside risk on the hedge, but pledged to fully cover the liability.

Critically, Ghosn’s request for help with his unexpected difficulty received formal approval by the Nissan board. Admittedly the Securities Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC), deemed the transaction improper a few months later and ordered Nissan to get rid of the hedging contract.

So, Nissan carried a contingent liability — fully guaranteed by Ghosn — as an accommodation to its CEO for approximately four months. Nissan suffered no actual loss and was never at risk because it was fully covered by Ghosn’s retirement allowance. The transaction was not concealed; it was approved by the Nissan board and reported to the SESC, which saw no reason to request a criminal probe a decade ago.

So, you may ask, where is the crime? According to news reports, it turns out the prosecutors are not satisfied with the drafting of the board resolution. They are quibbling that the board resolution did not mention Ghosn by name and only referred generically to “foreign board members” as beneficiaries of the transaction. Moreover, the prosecutors are claiming the resolution was not specific on how Nissan was to be protected with 100% certainty against possible loss. Ghosn’s criminal liability turns almost entirely on the wording of a board resolution that Ghosn himself surely did not draft.

The second prong of the breach of trust charge relates to the subsequent transfer, in compliance with the SESC’s order, of the Shinsei Bank contract from Nissan to companies controlled by Saudi national Khaled Juffali. Nissan affiliates in the Middle East paid Juffali’s companies $14.7 million over four years for variety of “support activities” in the region. The prosecutors claim that Nissan’s money was paid for Juffali’s guarantee of Ghosn’s personal contingent liability.

It seems unrealistic, however, that anyone would pay $14.7 million of Nissan money for a guarantee of a contingent liability worth at most $16.7 million-a huge overpayment.

This strongly suggests that Juffali’s companies were being paid for doing more than simply backing Ghosn’s Shinsei liability. The more commercially-likely scenario is more innocuous, one in which Ghosn asked a friendly business counterparty to assume an essentially riskless contingent liability as a favor in the context of a long-term business relationship. This represents the kind of mutual exchange between companies with long-term relationships practiced daily by the Japanese corporate establishment.

No question, a more scrupulous and careful executive would have avoided pushing the gray boundaries of the law. But nothing we know that Ghosn allegedly did smells like a serious crime deserving prison. That he remains in confinement while the prosecutors argue semantics to deprive him of his freedom places Japan’s criminal justice system in an awkward light.

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

ENDS

////////////////////////////////////////////////

Do you like what you read on Debito.org?  Want to help keep the archive active and support Debito.org’s activities?  Please consider donating a little something.  More details here. Or even click on an ad below.

126 comments on “Debito.org’s stance on the Carlos Ghosn Case, at last: A boardroom coup making “thin legal soup” that might shame Japan’s “hostage justice” judicial system into reform

Comment navigation

  • David Markle says:

    There are some other factors that might have contributed to his downfall that are typical of Japan that I have heard any foreign press speculate on. That he had brought several executives from Renault (nj) and installed them as vice presidents in charge of marketing and research among others. If he had been able to continue with his planned merger of the three companies he would have continued to bring no into Nissan as BOSSES of Japanese! This was his crime and needed to be stopped at all costs. As anyone who knows anything about Japan corporate culture, nj must NEVER have any real responsibility and especially never be the bosses over Japanese!

    I was listening recently to a Diet member argue against changing visa rules to allow for more nj to work and live on Japan and her argument was “well what if a nj comes here and stays and starts a company! That means that maybe Japanese will end up working for a foreigner! heaven forbid!”

    Mr. Gohn has committed the ultimate crime of bringing nj into a major Japanese Corporation and given them power over the natives. For this he must pay!

    Reply
    • Yes. This is the point. I’ve been in my Japanese company for 15 years and haven’t been promoted once. I now report to Japanese people who have been promoted above me but who have less experience. Non Japanese can’t be in power over Japanese.

      Reply
      • if I were you I would accidentally withhold any knowledge you have acquired in your extensive experience and just do the bare minimum. They are “superior” to you, after all!
        They want a dumb gaijin, thats what theyll get.

        Reply
    • The reason why no one is talking about this is it is too childish to even believe. People could not believe that Japan is still this childish.

      Reply
      • David Markle says:

        It’s usually closeted in the old “foreigners can’t understand unique Japanese culture” mindset that prohibits no from being taken seriously. If you prove yourself worthy of trust, (by learning the language, buying property, showing that you are more than a fly by night glorified tourist) you will unceremoniously be shown the door.

        Reply
    • Baudrillard says:

      I actually used to work at NIssan 4-5 mornings a week in 2000 when Mr Ghosn had just taken over. The feeling of the staff was bemusement, and a kind of dull shock at having to work harder, longer hours and study English etc..

      Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Yes, Ghosn wouldn’t get much sympathy as a 1%er in the west, but he wasn’t arrested for being a 1%er, he was arrested for not being Japanese. That’s all that matters.
    Abe appears complicit in several crimes, but his status means he doesn’t even have to ask questions; Japan doesn’t care that Abe is a 1%er.

    Reply
  • laurel kamada says:

    Debito, Thanks for this . It is very helpful and informative and a concise summary of the problem with the legal system here.

    Reply
  • It has been quiet recently about Ghosn in foreign media. The last news I’ve read was that Renault nailed him too for telling Japanese that Ghosn received €50,000 ( not million ) in some kind of contribution. Probably they will extend his dentention again because of this. J System is torture and as you wrote where are the other responsible. Where are the people who mislabel good etc. Big bow and back to business. They are probably contributor to LDP. Unfortunately foreigners cannot contribute it. I wish foreign media wrote more about it but I guess they don’t want to mess with “Big Japan”

    Reply
  • I’m re-sharing a comment I posted two weeks ago:

    Yes, that AssociatedPress article was deleted by both JapanTimes & JapanToday, here is the archived evidence:

    https://tinyurl.com/JapanTimesCensorship
    https://tinyurl.com/JapanTodayCensorship

    “…the allegations were unfounded, since the suspected unreported pay was deferred income he had not yet received.”

    This “we’ll pay you later gaijin-san, trust us” Deferred-Pay-Plan was indeed signed by the coup leader current Nissan President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa:

    “Investigators at the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office … obtained a paper listing the pretext for the deferred payment that bore the signatures of … Nissan President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa”

    https://tinyurl.com/SaikawaSignedDeferredPayPlan

    So, it turns out the whole “lying about income” charge which was used to arrest Ghosn in the first place was always absolutely illogical since: one does NOT have to pay tax for money one has NOT received.

    The correct time to report and pay any income tax is: the March AFTER one has actually received that income.

    One does NOT need to pay taxes many years in advance based on some company merely promising, “we’ll pay you billions of yen many years in the future gaijin-san, after you retire, trust us.”

    Which is why the “lying about income” charge which was used to arrest Ghosn in the first place HAD to be dropped.

    (And thus, during the unlawful jailing for that first DROPPED-charge, two other new charges have been subsequently drummed up instead.)

    Oh, and here’s an extra footnote: even though Saikawa’s Nissan NEVER DID pay those billions of “deferred payments” to Ghosn, and even though Saikawa’s Nissan probably NEVER WILL pay those billions of “deferred payments” to Ghosn, Saikawa’s Nissan is now illogically “cleaning up their books” by placing those (absolutely NOT paid) billions into the March 2019 “expense” column, thus illogically & illegally reducing the company’s tax obligation, and strangely (but not surprisingly) Japan is allowing this action to be done by Saikawa’s Nissan:

    https://tinyurl.com/UnpaidYetExpenseClaimMarch2019

    http://www.debito.org/?p=15203#comment-1711857

    By the way, just like Debito & Jim & Baud, I too don’t like trillionaires, billionaires, or even millionaires, since such inequality in pay is inherently unfair to the people slaving away at the factories MANY more hours per week doing MUCH harder work (harder work, dirtier work, and more dangerous work) for comparatively slave wages.

    So it feels weird for me to spend even a moment’s time defending this millionaire jerk Ghosn, but as it happens, as I stated in my summary above, the correct time to report and pay any income tax is: the March AFTER one has actually received that income.

    So that first “tax evasion via under-reporting income” charge was an ILLEGAL ARREST performed by those police officers of Japan and approved by those prosecutors of Japan, so there is no need for me to even bother disproving the subsequent charges they drummed up after the initial ILLEGAL ARREST.

    In my opinion, those specific police officers those specific prosecutors who committed the illegal arrest for the NON-crime of “not reporting income which one has not yet received” are themselves the real criminals in this situation.

    In my opinion, those specific public workers violated Japan’s Penal Code Article 194 (“Keihou Dai 194”) which outlaws a police officer from confining an individual without first having the prerequisite probable cause to reasonably believe an ACTUAL CRIME had been committed in the first place.

    Thus, in my opinion, the specific police officers and the specific prosecutors who committed the illegal arrest in the first place are themselves guilty of the ACTUAL CRIME of Shokken Ranyou, a very serious crime which has a penalty of putting those specific criminals into prison for up to 10 YEARS according to the law of Japan.

    Naturally, I know that Shokken Ranyou law of Japan is rarely applied in general and of course WON’T be righteously applied against these specific police officers nor against these criminal prosecutors, I just wanted to remind readers that in my opinion these criminal public workers SHOULD be justly arrested for their crime of Shokken Ranyou.

    Those specific public workers should be justly held in jail for an equally long time until they admit that they committed the ILLEGAL ARREST due to orders from specific bosses.

    And then of course those specific bosses justly should be held in jail for an equally long time until they admit they arranged the ILLEGAL ARREST due to bribery from, ahem, interested parties who stood to gain (and who did gain) from this illegal arrest.

    Summary: I feel those police officers and those prosecutors committed the criminal action of initiating and performing the arrest of an individual for a non-crime.

    Perhaps those police officers and those prosecutors might attempt to convince a judge that my opinion has caused them to suffer a provable reduction in income?

    Or, perhaps a deep investigation of those specific police officers and those specific prosecutors may indeed reduce their future income: when the Nissan bribe evidence is righteously leaked for justice those specific bozos won’t be able to receive any future bribes! 🙂

    Reply
    • I think Ghosn can, as he was paid so much, do us a favor by shining the light on the inequalities (ha!) of the Japanese legal system.

      His high salary is in return for the months of detention and this small favor he is doing the rest of us. Got to take the bad with the good, Carlos!

      Reply
  • “Mr. Gohn has committed the ultimate crime of bringing nj into a major Japanese Corporation and given them power over the natives. For this he must pay!”

    I agree with 100%. I was told this by a Japanese, that they will never work for a foreigner if there is another option.

    interesting that they lord over many factories in the US, and that many US politicians are unaware of their racist views, or simply dismiss them.

    In fairness, Horie and a Japanese female actor got prosecuted for some bucking the system (charges of financial crimes and growing weed were what was reported in the media, but they claim otherwise) so Japanese can get nailed also, but mostly only sacrificial radicals. Mainstream old guard CEOs etc seem to escape justice.

    Reply
    • Only extreme Japanophiles (anime geeks) are likely to still want to come. “Foreign executives seeking to work in Japan likely have a special fondness for the country, Raphael said.”

      Reply
  • It could be just me, but this article seems to point to the fact that Japanese companies are either not up for grabs for foreign buyers, have not enough transparence & governance, or both.

    Japan’s lop-sided M&A boom
    Nation’s companies invest record amounts abroad, but foreign groups steer clear of Japan
    William Pesek
    MARCH 04, 2019 03:00 JST
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Japan-s-lop-sided-M-A-boom

    Shinzo Abe’s “Japan-is-back” pledge was much in evidence in the corporate world in 2018 as the country dominated mergers and acquisitions in Asia.

    Outbound M&A deals reached an all-time high of 777, up nearly 16% and a fifth straight record for Japan Inc. Executives spent roughly $175 billion last year tapping overseas growth to offset a shrinking and tepid domestic market, in a buying surge that was second only to the U.S.’s.

    Yet the boom is a notably one-way affair. Inbound M&A fell last year to $7.6 billion, according to data company Refinitiv.

    Asia’s second-biggest economy is really back from decades of deflationary funk and gearing up for a bright future, how come investors are not rushing to Japan?

    To be fair, there have been significant nibbles. The 2016 purchase of Sharp by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group certainly turned heads. Yet that $3.5 billion transaction is far more exception than rule. It pales in comparison with Takeda Pharmaceutical buying Ireland’s Shire last year for $62 billion. The lack of similar headline-grabbing bids for cash-rich Japanese companies betrays the limits of Abe’s turnaround efforts.

    Takeda Pharmaceutical President Christophe Weber, pictured at a news conference in Tokyo on May 9 2018, has his sights set firmly on the U.S. (Photo by Wataru Ito)
    Indeed, things are turning out very differently than Abe telegraphed in 2012. Nine months after his return to the premiership, in September 2013, he took his reform message to the New York Stock Exchange. As Abe implored traders to “buy my Abenomics,” he even cited Gordon Gekko, the corporate-raider at the heart of Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street” film. “Today, I have come to tell you that Japan will once again be a country where there is money to be made.”

    The 57% surge in the Nikkei Stock Average that year punctuated the point. Missing, though, is the long-term foreign direct investment needed to enliven a rigid and insular corporate culture. Buying shares in a Japanese company is one thing. Taking one over is quite another.

    Abe’s limited ambition on this score is part of the problem. From the very beginning, Abenomics set a 35 trillion yen, or $314 billion, goal for the cumulative stock of FDI by 2020. In 2017, it was still well short at $256 billion. It is important to consider how low that is for a $4.9 trillion economy. On average, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members have secure an accumulated stock of FDI equivalent to 38% of gross domestic product. Abe’s target would put Japan’s take at about 4% of GDP.

    What is turning off the Warren Buffetts of the world? A shaky revival, for one thing. Yes, Abenomics helped deliver the longest expansion since the 1980s. But caveats abound. Abe was lucky enough to roll out his reflation program amid the most robust synchronized global recovery in decades. China’s boom, and its voracious demand for Japanese goods, also helped.

    Abenomics has not, however, given workers the sizable raises the government promised. It relied too heavily on Bank of Japan stimulus and a weak yen, not enough on deregulation. More than six years on, Abe’s government has taken few significant steps to loosen labor markets, reduce bureaucracy, incentivize new research and development or grow the nation’s startup scene. Nor has Tokyo sufficiently addressed its demographic time bomb.

    The biggest turnoff is a blinkered corporate culture in the news for all the wrong reasons. The stunning arrest of Carlos Ghosn of Nissan Motor in November dented the Japan brand. Since then, the indefinite incarceration of the nation’s best-known non-Japanese CEO has given food for thought to executives considering top jobs in Japan. Bad timing, considering Abe’s hopes of diversifying boardrooms with foreign talent.

    And yet it points to the reason for the glacial pace of change. Abe’s 2013 Wall Street sales pitch centered on the corporate governance revolution he claimed to be cooking up. And, credit where it is due, Abe did introduce initiatives to internationalize practices. They include a U.K.-styled stewardship code of conduct and calls for more outside directors.

    But the upgrades are largely voluntary and have been insufficient to avoid scandals at Kobe Steel, Nissan, Olympus, the camera maker, air bag manufacturer Takata, Toshiba and others. Tokyo is not policing cross-shareholdings between friendly companies. Little has been done to incentivize productivity and innovation. Companies are not scrapping the intricate takeover defenses that scare away Buffett and his kind.

    Masayoshi Son, too, is less than enthused. Japan’s answer to the Sage of Omaha is busily remaking the global venture-capital game with his $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund. The nation’s richest man is lavishing cash from Silicon Valley to India to Saudi Arabia to Singapore — just not at home.

    Not surprisingly, Son is hedging against Japan’s aging population. So are many of Japan’s most charismatic CEOs, including Tadashi Yanai of Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo casualwear chain.

    The reach for overseas growth is intensifying. Takeda Pharmaceutical’s blockbuster last year helped Japan leapfrog over China in outbound M&A deals. And bankers are preparing for another boom year as trade-war tensions hit domestic growth.

    The good news is that Japan appears to have learned from past stumbles. In the 1980s, the last time Japan Inc. rushed abroad en masse, executives snapped up California’s Pebble Beach golf course, Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, Hollywood studios, and Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers masterpiece. They often overpaid, leading to billions of dollars of write-downs once Japan’s asset bubble burst.

    Those purchases were often trophies. Today’s are strategic bets on where the economic growth is. And this time, the pricing is more responsible. Last year, Japanese executives paid a roughly 23% premium in acquisitions, the lowest since 2013, according to Bloomberg.

    Record profits, a product of a 30%-yen depreciation on Abe’s watch, left Japan Inc. with an embarrassment of riches. In fiscal 2017, cash reserves of Topix-listed companies reached an eye-popping $994 billion. Under pressure to deploy that cash, executives are wisely picking targets abroad.

    It is odd, though, that corporate Japan is not attracting more bids from abroad. Consider it a wake-up call that Abe’s reform efforts are not impressing long-term investors. It is great that corporate Japan is globalizing, but the Japan-is-back narrative would be more convincing if cash flowed in both directions.

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Abe’s “Japan-is-back” pledge is his nostalgia for the 80s. And Japan didnt have many foreign CEOs of note then and was in fact quite exclusionary, yet successful.
    Those were the days when “I dont like or work with gaijin” was an acceptable personality trait or business choice, the freedom to exclude!

    Reply
  • Debito, not sure how much contact you’ve had with TkyoSam lately, but a friend of his is actually in jail right now. Got arrested as part of a drug bust that he had no part in other than the guy who actually DID try and acquire drugs was staying at his place. Tkyo’s editing a YouTube video where he talks about it. Might be a good thing to hear your opinion on, and share the story.

    — I’ve actually met up with Sam and heard the story. I’ve invited him or someone else who can to write up this case for Debito.org. (Authorship can be anonymized as long as it’s reliable.)

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Carlos is mysteriously re-arrested at 6am this morning because prosecutors want to ask him about the charges that are being investigated in France;

    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/update1-ex-nissan-boss-ghosn-served-4th-arrest-warrant-sources

    What about this guy? He’s being investigated in France too, why don’t the prosecutors arrest him?;

    https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/japan-olympic-committee-president-tsunekazu-takeda-to-resign-corruption-allegations-scandal

    Oh yeah, he’s Japanese so he doesn’t get arrested over investigations in France?

    Reply
  • It’s strange that this would be legal. To actually arrest someone in Japan over an investigation that is taking place in a foreign country.

    On what grounds did they arrest him?

    Or do they even need any grounds?

    Reply
  • Carlos Ghosn’s lawyer slams rare rearrest on bail in Tokyo as ‘act of aggression’ Japan Times April 4, 2019:
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/04/business/tokyo-prosecutors-rearrest-carlos-ghosn/

    A highly unusual move by Tokyo prosecutors to arrest former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn for a fourth time on Thursday morning marked the latest plot twist in an almost five-month legal drama, and could reignite criticism of Japan’s judicial system, dubbed by critics as “hostage justice.”…

    The arrest came less than 24 hours after he announced, from a newly launched Twitter account, that he was “getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening,” and would hold a news conference in Tokyo on April 11.

    Coincidence? I don’t think.

    Reply
  • OK Japan, we get it already.

    Japanese police are just a private gestapo army for the J-elites. Will they do anything they are told to do? Looks like it.

    Reply
  • OPINION
    Ghosn prosecutors finally catch a fish
    While investigators now probe serious charges, their approach raises concerns
    Stephen Givens, Nikkei Asian Review APRIL 05, 2019

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Ghosn-prosecutors-finally-catch-a-fish

    Carlos Ghosn’s rearrest, this time on allegations that appear more serious than the initial charges, creates the strong impression that from the start this has been a fishing expedition in search of a crime.

    With the early casts, the best the prosecutors could find were minnows, in the form of the alleged misreporting of the former chief’s compensation from his employer, Nissan Motor, and charges that Ghosn used Nissan’s credit to backstop his liabilities on a currency swap contract.

    Now the investigators seem to have hooked what looks like a real fish — claims of aggravated breach of trust concerning payments by Nissan to an Omani distributor that were funneled back into companies controlled by Ghosn.

    Criminal investigations, of course, are not supposed to be open-ended fishing expeditions to uncover unsuspected crimes. In the U.S. and other advanced countries, prosecutors are bound by rules of conduct that prevent them from poking into the lives of innocent citizens just to see what “turns up.”

    The question of what kind of information is sufficient to launch a fair investigation is not black and white. But in Japan the prosecutors’ discretion is exceptionally wide and so should be used with great care. The Ghosn case shows that almost any business person suspected of even a minor infringement of corporate laws could be targeted.

    Normally, a criminal investigation starts when a victim reports a crime or a dead body is discovered. In Ghosn’s case, the complaint was not submitted by victims claiming Ghosn had hurt them, but by fellow Nissan executives alleging that their boss had damaged the company.

    Behind their complaints lay their alarm at his plans to merge Nissan with the French group Renault, which holds a 43% stake in Nissan. Nissan executives spent months scouring company files looking for evidence they could take to the prosecutor. Ghosn claims they did so to oust him and scuttle the merger. He denies any wrongdoing.

    The evidence of wrongdoing Nissan executives were able to deliver to the prosecutors was not overwhelming, but enough to launch an open-ended investigation to find more. The initial charges provided a pretext to detain Ghosn for three months, interrogate him on a daily basis and see what he might confess to.

    Unfortunately, for a long time the best the prosecutors could find were minnows. The first set of charges was that Ghosn was criminally liable for Nissan’s failure to disclose in its periodic securities reports a portion of his compensation that was to be deferred until after his retirement.

    The second set of charges related to a currency swap contract between Shinsei Bank and Ghosn. Ghosn asked Nissan, with the Nissan board’s consent, to backstop his liabilities under the contract for a period four months in 2009. Nissan’s risk under the guarantee was minimal to begin with and it was never actually called. The facts surrounding the charges had been well known, not only within Nissan but by government agencies, for a decade.

    Outside Japan, minor charges of this nature would never have led to criminal arrest and extended detention and interrogation, as they did in Ghosn’s case. They would have been handled as an internal Nissan matter, or at most in a legal proceeding culminating in warnings or possibly a fine. Yet the prosecutors agreed to escalate the evidence handed to them by Nissan to a full-blown criminal prosecution against Ghosn with the possibility that, if convicted, he would serve years of hard time in prison.

    During Ghosn’s three-month detention, there were various reports of seeming improprieties by Ghosn that, if anything, sounded more serious than the minor charges officially lodged against him. News reports told of lavish wedding parties at Versailles, mansions in Brazil and Lebanon, consulting contracts for his sister, “paying himself” $9 million. Yet none of these has so far led to arrests or indictments.

    The most recent charges are more serious because, if the reported facts are true, Ghosn diverted Nissan money into his own accounts. Neither of the initial charges involved anything close to actual embezzlement — dipping into the company till for personal gain.

    If the facts turn out to be true, and we do not know for now, then a criminal case against Ghosn is warranted.

    But the suggestion that the prosecutors may have finally come across evidence of a substantial crime, does not change the fact that this was a fishing expedition from the start. Authoritarian regimes tolerate open-ended investigations of citizens without a good reason to suspect them of specific wrongdoing — not liberal democracies like Japan. Yes, open-ended investigations sometimes turn up something. But that should not make us comfortable with random investigations of innocent people to see what emerges.

    Whether Ghosn will be returned to Kosuge Prison for further detention following the latest arrest will be another interesting test of the Japanese criminal justice system. Theoretically, detention for purposes of interrogation is not permitted by the Japanese constitution. Detention is warranted only if a suspect is likely to flee or destroy evidence. Ghosn has already established to the satisfaction of a Japanese court that he is not likely to flee or destroy evidence. If Ghosn is detained again, prosecutors should have to establish he is likely to tamper with evidence relating to the new charges, or perhaps that he has violated the conditions of his current release by, for example, opening a Twitter account and announcing a press conference.

    Prosecutors are probably now heaving a sigh of relief that they seem to have caught a real fish. It should not exonerate them from having engaged in a fishing expedition.
    ===============
    Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      This.

      I said it before; the J-police are so overstaffed and underworked that instead of investigating reported crimes to discover the facts, they are picking residents/citizens that they come across and investigating them for however long it takes until they find a crime no matter how minor.

      Ghosn is an example of this policy in action.

      As an NJ, you better hope no one with a grudge passes your name to the police.

      Reply
    • “In the U.S. and other advanced countries, prosecutors are bound by rules of conduct that prevent them from poking into the lives of innocent citizens just to see what “turns up.”

      OK, so Japan isn’t advanced. we get it.

      “The Ghosn case shows that almost any business person suspected of even a minor infringement of corporate laws could be targeted.”

      So much for “Japan is open for business!” More like, open yourself for arrest.

      Reply
  • “Authoritarian regimes tolerate open-ended investigations of citizens without a good reason to suspect them of specific wrongdoing — not liberal democracies like Japan”

    You have contradicted yourself.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Interestingly, Carlos was due to do an interview on Fox Business News (apparently) moments before they arrested him (hence the early morning).
    Were the police illegally tapping his phone and pounced when they realized he was moments from speaking publicly to the international news media?
    Has anyone heard anything about this? I’ve heard that Fox was outraged, and lambasted J-police on live TV.
    I also heard that a female prosecutor subjected his wife to a strip search at the property, but have been unable to confirm that. Anyone?

    Reply
  • Recent developments in this case make it clear it wasn’t a simple anti-NJ coup.

    Sept 2nd, there’s a new prosecutor (because the previous prosecutor was getting nowhere with the BS case against Ghosn that was relying solely on a forced confession rather than actual evidence);
    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/new-prosecutor-defends-japan's-handling-of-carlos-ghosn-case

    And this is the very day after Ghosn’s lawyer accused prosecution of being biased;
    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/Ghosn's-lawyer-says-Tokyo-prosecutors-lack-impartiality

    And less than a week later, it comes out that the whistle-blower who made initial allegations against Ghosn received ‘excess compensation’ himself!
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/06/business/corporate-business/nissan-overpaid-ghosn-whistle-blower-hari-nada-along-ceo/

    And on the same day, the investigation reveals that the guy the whistleblower informed, Saikawa, was himself being overpaid! (Oh, and the investigation is now concluded having reached that conclusion, and the investigator will be leaving his employment at Nissan);
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/07/business/corporate-business/chief-nissan-investigator-ceos-excess-pay-set-quit-carmaker/

    So, Ghosn, the Japanese whistleblower, and Saikawa ALL stand accused to taking Nissan money they weren’t entitled to.
    Ghosn gets arrested and is facing trial.
    The whistleblower and Saikawa get off with a bow and a ‘sorry’.
    The investigator gets forced out of his job.

    This must be that ‘endemic corruption at all levels of society’ that the Economist report was talking about.

    Reply
  • In my home country, courts set trial dates, but in Japan it seems that prosecutors do. And what do we have?
    19th November 2018: Carlos arrested for suspected financial irregularities.
    Today?
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/21/business/corporate-business/tokyo-court-plans-hold-hearing-ex-nissan-boss-ghosn-next-april/

    That’s right. Court date set for April 2020!
    I guess the prosecutors are so reliant on forced confessions that Carlos’ refusal to give them one still means they’ve got NOTHING on him. Which is why they can’t go to court NOW.
    Instead they are punishing him for refusing to co-operate by dragging out his inhumane pre-trial conditions that prevent him from being with his family. I guess they are hoping that over a year of psychological abuse will make him voluntarily confess to just about anything, and if it doesn’t, who wants to bet that the trial will drag on and on with endless postponements for years (as we have seen in other cases, I’m thinking Minamata-byou, Tepco executives trial, Hibakusha) with the aim of the prosecution having never to get to the point in a trial where a judgement is reached (that would expose the fact they have NOTHING).
    No, the point here is that they have Ghosn trapped in a Kafka-esque nightmare that they can continue for decades if they wish.
    Here’s hoping the start/delays to his trial/hearings make the news everyday throughout 2020 and any international events in Japan are overshadowed by them.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Ghosn’s legal team changes strategy: appoints former French ambassador (and human rights lawyer) to fight case as abuse of Ghosn’s human rights rather than embezzlement case defense.
    Argues that Japan’s legal system violates international human rights conventions Japan is party to, and proud to mount such an attack on Japan’s legal system for benefit of ‘all sorts of people in Japan’.
    Finally, someone ‘gets’ what this case is about; outsiders being disenfranchised by the system.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/10/03/national/crime-legal/famed-french-lawyer-signals-shift-ghosns-defense-strategy/

    Reply
  • I brought this up some months ago, but more proof;

    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/man-arrested-for-rape-4-days-after-statute-of-limitations-expired

    Japanese arrested for rape 4 days after statute of limitations expired.
    I do not want to comment on the hideous crime, and suspects deserve their day in court given the Japanese police’s reliance on forced confessions.

    What is relevant is that in this case, the Japanese found a suspect after the statute of limitations had expired. Then they applied this ‘rule’ that the statute of limitations doesn’t include time spent outside of Japan, and scoured the suspects personal movements to find 4 days when he was out of the country so that they could extend the expiration date of the statute of limitations and arrest him.

    Personally, I don’t think there should be a statute of limitations on rape.

    It’s relevant to Debito.org because the statute of limitations on crimes Ghosn is alleged to have committed has expired, but his time out of Japan has been deemed to be a suspension of the statute of limitations allowing his arrest and ongoing prosecution. Meanwhile all of the Japanese Nissan managers who must have been aware of/assisted in any corporate crimes non-Japanese literate Ghosn may have committed have escaped arrest as the statute of limitations on their crimes has already expired. Handy, isn’t it?

    Of wider relevance to Debito.org readers is that you could be accused of anything by anyone and find yourself arrested way beyond the statute of limitations if you’ve been in and out of the country.

    Way to attract that foreign talent/protect your own!

    Reply
  • “…some of the accusations, which fall under a statute of limitations of seven years under the Companies Act, are still applicable. Prosecutors have argued that statutes do not apply to Ghosn because he spent time overseas.”

    This is extremely faulty jurisprudence. Head up your bum type jurisprudence. The purpose statutes of limitations is to make sure that plaintiffs pursue their claims with a certain amount of diligence and so that evidence does not get lost and memory doesn’t become dim as regards to the facts. All of these are tied to the nature of the alleged offence and to the act itself, nothing at all to do with where a person had been living.

    We gave them a legal system the couldn’t comprehend, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they break it.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Carlos Ghosn evades authorities, escapes to Lebanon.
    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/carlos-ghosn-arrives-in-lebanon-after-fleeing-japan-11577741238
    Bravo Carlos!

    —- “I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan’s legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold,” Mr. Ghosn said in a statement released by his spokeswoman.

    “I have not fled justice — I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” the statement said. “I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.”

    Source: NYT, “Carlos Ghosn, Fallen Nissan Boss, Flees Japan to Escape ‘Political Persecution’” Dec 30, 2019.

    Reply
    • Inevitable really. It shines a light on Japan for not adhering to G7 norms. A state with a legal system whose gut instinct and bad habits defaults to a mindset resembling Communist China in some respects.
      There comes a point whee people just need to say, “I am not putting up with Japan anymore” and leave. How wouldve spent most of the rest of his life in legal limbo otherwise, until the stress wore him down and he lost everything.

      Reply
    • David Markle says:

      I look forward to hearing what he has to say in extensive detail including how he managed to get out while under supposed strict surveillance. My theory is that the authorities decided he was more of a liability than an asset they could squeeze for juice, so they gave him a window in which they let him know they would not be looking carefully at his whereabouts. Wink wink. Someone of his means can easily arrange for private jets, which he is reported to have flown out on to escape Japan. This saves the powers that be, another Bobby Fischer/Julian Arrange situation to deal with, which is embarrassing and costly, Image wise, with the 2020 Olympics coming to supposedly civilized Japan. Very interesting year end timing.

      Reply
  • So, Carlos has escaped to a non-extradition treaty country and announces he was escaping injustice, while prosecutors announce that him skipping bail ‘proves’ his guilt!

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/12/31/business/carlos-ghosn-flight/

    Seems like a ‘win-win’ situation! Carlos is free, J-prosecutors acting out of economic nationalism get to wash their hands of their ham rights abusing failed effort to force a confession. And of course, the home crowd thinks that running away from a year of incarceration and separation from family is proof of his guilt and will no doubt ensure no NJ ever receives bail again.

    I guess with his trial scheduled to start in April, it was getting uncomfortably close to the Olympics and competing for headline space- how embarrassing!

    Now let’s see Carlos tell all. Should make plenty think twice about setting foot in Japan.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    And also realize he forfeited 1.50 billion yen in bail by leaving. The highest bail EVER imposed on anybody EVER in Japan.

    Reply
    • So, he has paid his dues to Japan. In detention time and money. He owes them nothing though they think the “betrayal is unforgiveable”.

      Maybe he just thought, “OK, I did a good job at first but now they dont want me, so I will not stay where I am not wanted”

      Reply
  • I‘m glad he managed to escape. I don‘t think that he‘s completely innocent, because as my father used to say: „Nobody gets rich like that without doing something illegal“, but the crap he‘s been facing is a huge joke. Even a murderer doesn‘t deserve such treatment. We all know that there‘s countless of Japanese CEOs who have done far worse things and who are far more corrupt than Ghosn. But of course, they will never get arrested and even if they would get arrested, they wouldn‘t be treated like that. Ghosn was in jail because he was a foreigner that held to much power in Japan. That‘s the whole gist of this farce. Japan‘s hostage justice and guilty until proven innocent mentality need to be addressed and fixed. But we all know that Japan will just ignore international critics and experts and they will just continue to practice such a system like nothing happened.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Lebanese TV station MTV reported Ghosn escaped Japan with the help of members of a band, who entered his home under the allegedly false notion that they would be playing music for him. After the appropriate amount of time had passed, the band left with their instruments – and Ghosn – in tow, having allegedly hidden him in “one of the boxes intended for the transfer of musical instruments,” according to the report.

    It’s also being reported/speculated that he managed to obtain a fake passport under another name. If he went to all that trouble maybe the authorities weren’t cooperating after all. Very ingenious, but not very inspirational to those of us with average means.

    Reply
    • Very interesting. The moral of the story being, know or learn a double bass or similar man sized instrument so you can always hide in the case to leave Japan.

      Reply
    • the band left with their instruments – and Ghosn – in tow, having allegedly hidden him in “one of the boxes intended for the transfer of musical instruments,” according to the report.

      According to my sources, he was ‘Spirited Away’ in one of these.

      Reply
  • realitycheck says:

    Hear Hear to Dr Debito on this post – as always.
    Coming from a first world country with a rule of law system despite its flaws, I have always found Japan to be a third world country in its legal system.
    I am not the only one – many have commented on how disturbing it is that a first world country with a parliamentary democratic system still employs the tactics of the 19th century and before in its law enforcement practices.
    It is nothing short of shameful that Japan and its society accept a system where you can be interrogated continuously for around a month with no lawyer present in order to force confessions.
    This disgusting practice puts Japan in the same category as countries such as Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia to name only three countries where the so called ‘justice systems’ are relics of bygone centuries and befit dictatorships rather than members of the global community.
    Other democracies put into effect law reform some years ago in order to restrict abuses of power by law enforcement and implement an open judicial system. Countries such as the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and NZ are not perfect but their normal legal practices accept innocence until proven guilty and trial by peers. As well as the right to a legal presence during police interrogation and a limit to the time in which people can be held with no charges.
    Japan’s system has changed little since the fascist military government days and centuries before in key features and this is because there is no will among the public or lawmakers to implement change.
    Of course having governments usually run by the descendants of war criminals and other fascists has been a huge obstacle to reform of the Japanese legal system and court system to bring it up to at least 1960s standards of other first world countries.
    An auditor by the surname of Murray – and she is a woman – found that independently that at least 80 high ranking members of Nissan had engaged in questionable activities.
    She was not listened to by the Japanese authorities as far as we know and it is doubtful that in the Japanese show trial of Carlos G this kind of information would have made it into the proceedings.
    My advice to those Japanese already whining on social media and on tv and newspapers is basic – shut up already. Your disgraceful legal system and show trials have already given Japan bad publicity and if you don’t want that then do something to get your country up to speed legally to at least the 1960s.
    I am hoping Carlos G holds a number of media conferences in which he gives full exposure of those 80 or so Japanese Nissan staff as well as the Japanese injustice system.

    Reply
    • AnonymousOG says:

      Yep, from the Wall Street Journal article:

      “Nissan Audit Chief Sought to Expand Ghosn Probe – and Was Shut Down

      Auto maker’s former audit chief listed some 80 employees suspected of enabling alleged wrongdoing by former chairman, but her effort was quashed, people familiar with the matter said.

      Nissan Motor Co.’s audit chief made a list of Nissan employees she believed enabled alleged wrongdoing by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn and planned to create a committee to consider disciplining them, but Nissan quashed her plan after a leading target said it wasn’t necessary, according to an internal email and people familiar with the decision.

      The audit chief, Christina Murray, who left Nissan in September, said in the email that she cautioned a top executive about following the advice of a person suspected of wrongdoing on whether to investigate it.

      The email seen by The Wall Street Journal adds to the picture of internal clashes at the car maker in the aftermath of Mr. Ghosn’s arrest last November and indictment on charges of financial misconduct—charges that Mr. Ghosn denies.

      [Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan and Renault, assailed Nissan executives and said he is innocent, in a video released in April by his lawyers and was recorded before his arrest.]

      The clashes now center on Hari Nada, a Nissan vice president who oversees its legal department. Previously Mr. Nada had worked closely with Mr. Ghosn on sensitive matters, and some Nissan lawyers have said that given the potential conflicts of interest, Mr. Nada needed to do more to avoid any involvement in probes of Mr. Ghosn’s actions.

      Ms. Murray and others had assembled a list of around 80 employees at Nissan who they believed had assisted Mr. Ghosn or obstructed the investigation and ranked the severity of these employees’ actions on a scale of 0 to 5, said the people familiar with the effort. Mr. Nada was a 5, they said.

      A proposed internal Committee on Employment Action and Remediation was to look at the allegations and determine whether any penalties were appropriate, the people said.

      In September, Nissan completed a 170-page report prepared by its outside law firm, Latham & Watkins, summarizing its investigation into the Ghosn matter.

      As the investigation wound down over the summer, Ms. Murray, the audit chief, and others involved worried that Latham’s report was too narrow in scope, say people familiar with the discussions. A public summary of the report mentions only two names besides Mr. Ghosn, with Mr. Nada not among them.

      Ms. Murray and others involved in Nissan’s internal investigation were planning to use the findings to examine whether there should be disciplinary action against employees other than Mr. Ghosn and former aide Greg Kelly, according to people familiar with their plans. Mr. Kelly, who was stripped of his Nissan post, has been charged with helping hide Mr. Ghosn’s compensation. He says he is innocent.

      On Aug. 27, Ms. Murray met with Yasuhiro Yamauchi, then Nissan’s chief operating officer and now its acting chief executive, according to the email and people familiar with the meeting. According to the email by Ms. Murray, which recounts the meeting, she asked Mr. Yamauchi whether it was true that the company had canceled plans for the proposed committee.

      “He told me that Hari told him it was not necessary,” Ms. Murray wrote in the email to her team.

      She added: “I cautioned him about following Hari on this, as Hari might have a reason to not want a decision-making committee to hear about certain misconduct.”

      One of the people said Mr. Nada told Mr. Yamauchi that any disciplinary committee should rely on Latham’s report and other fact-finding documents, rather than Ms. Murray’s list. The list compiled by Ms. Murray was overly broad and “a complete mischaracterization of Latham’s findings,” this person said.

      A Nissan spokeswoman declined to comment on the emails but rejected the idea that the company was treating those who may have helped Mr. Ghosn with kid gloves.

      “Nissan fully intends to take necessary measures, based on company rules, with regard to the personnel involved in the misconduct led by” Mr. Ghosn, the spokeswoman said.

      Ms. Murray had earlier raised concerns about Mr. Nada in June, when she filed complaints to human resources including one saying he had sought access to evidence Nissan gave to prosecutors, said people familiar with the complaints. Mr. Nada didn’t actually get access to the evidence, said the people.

      On Aug. 28, the day after Ms. Murray met with Mr. Yamauchi, she received an email saying her complaint against Mr. Nada presented a conflict of interest.

      The email came from Motoo Nagai, the board member in charge of audit matters. “I understand that you have made various HR allegations concerning Hari Nada. It is therefore crucial that you do not become further involved in any aspects of the investigation that may involve Hari,” Mr. Nagai wrote in the email, which was seen by the Journal. “Please rest assured that I will manage this matter appropriately.”

      Ms. Murray interpreted that to mean she no longer had oversight of the investigation report, according to people familiar with her thinking.

      Ms. Murray’s last day in the office was Aug. 30.”

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/nissan-audit-chief-sought-to-expand-ghosn-probeand-was-shut-down-11570210830

      That WSJ article written by Sean McLain reminds me of his previous hard-hitting article a year earlier:

      “Carlos Ghosn Planned to Replace Nissan CEO Before His Arrest

      He had wanted to carry out his plan to oust Hiroto Saikawa at a board meeting in November.

      Nissan Motor Co.’s Carlos Ghosn was planning to replace the company’s chief executive before the plan was derailed by Mr. Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo last month, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

      Word of Mr. Ghosn’s plan adds a new twist to the drama inside Nissan. CEO Hiroto Saikawa has said the company was investigating possible misuse of corporate assets and other alleged wrongdoing by Mr. Ghosn for months this year and was supplying information to Tokyo prosecutors.

      While that internal investigation was going on, Mr. Ghosn was growing increasingly dissatisfied with Mr. Saikawa’s handling of business problems at Nissan including a slowdown in U.S. sales and repeated quality issues in Japan, say people familiar with the matter.

      Meanwhile, Japanese prosecutors on Monday indicted Mr. Ghosn on charges of underreporting his compensation on five years of Nissan’s financial reports, Kyodo News reported. The office of his lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, declined to comment. People familiar with the matter have said the compensation that prosecutors describe as unreported was deferred until after Mr. Ghosn’s retirement.

      In addition, Nissan as a company was indicted over the same charges, Kyodo said. A Nissan representative declined to comment.

      Also indicted Monday was former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly, who served as Mr. Ghosn’s right-hand man at the company, Kyodo reported. A lawyer for Mr. Kelly said his client believed the future payments weren’t fixed amounts and so didn’t have to be reported in financial filings. Using company channels, Mr. Kelly solicited the views of outside experts and was told the unreported deferred compensation was fine, Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, Yoichi Kitamura, said.

      Mr. Ghosn had expressed a desire for months to shake up the senior-management ranks at Nissan and made known to some executives his plan to replace Mr. Saikawa, said people familiar with the plan.

      One of the people said Mr. Ghosn told associates he wanted to put Mr. Saikawa’s ouster to a vote at a Nissan board meeting set for late November.

      Instead, the board voted unanimously on Nov. 22 to oust Mr. Ghosn as chairman after hearing the results of Nissan’s investigation into his alleged financial misdeeds.

      Mr. Saikawa couldn’t be reached for comment. It isn’t known whether he was aware of Mr. Ghosn’s plans for a management shake-up or whether the internal Nissan drama was connected to the timing of the arrest.

      At the time of his arrest, Mr. Ghosn, as chairman of Nissan, was considered the ultimate decision maker at the company. Mr. Saikawa has said that Mr. Ghosn had too much power within Nissan and its alliance with French car maker Renault SA. Mr. Ghosn is chief executive and chairman of Renault, which owns a 43% stake in Nissan and has three board seats at the Japanese car maker.

      Frictions between Renault and Nissan have risen in recent years. Some executives at Nissan, the larger and more profitable of the two, have expressed concern about Renault’s influence on Nissan’s business decisions.

      Within Nissan, tensions before Mr. Ghosn’s arrest involved not only the future of the alliance but also Nissan’s own business struggles. Sales in the U.S. have declined year-over-year in six of the past eight months. Mr. Saikawa said Nissan needed to bolster U.S. profit margins, but initial efforts to get profits up by trimming spending on incentives caused sales to crater in April.

      In Japan, the company has recalled more than a million cars since discovering issues with inspections at Nissan’s factories more than a year ago, and the problems keep coming. On Friday, Nissan said it found workers in Japan incorrectly tested parking brakes and steering on some vehicles.

      When he stepped down as Nissan’s chief executive in 2017, Mr. Ghosn handpicked Mr. Saikawa as his successor, and he continued to support the Japanese executive in public. Behind closed doors, the two clashed over Nissan’s problems, people familiar with their disputes said.

      Still, not everyone believed Mr. Saikawa’s job was in danger. One person familiar with the relationship between the men said their differences hadn’t reached a point where Mr. Ghosn would have contemplated removing Mr. Saikawa.

      In Mr. Ghosn’s final years as Nissan chief executive, he pushed to reach an 8% share of global auto sales and an 8% operating margin. The company missed both those targets.

      Mr. Ghosn believed that only the largest car makers would survive in a future of self-driving and electric cars, and he said the alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. should seek to sell 14 million cars by 2022, up from 10.6 million last year.

      “With the explosion of technology that is coming, it is going to make it very difficult for smaller players to follow,” Mr. Ghosn told The Wall Street Journal in September 2017.

      Two months later, Mr. Saikawa offered a different perspective at a news conference, saying Nissan’s efforts to expand volume were eating into profitability.

      “Of course, everyone wants to see how big the company will be eventually, but the most important thing for a company is cash flow,” Mr. Saikawa said.

      Mr. Ghosn was an executive at Renault when the French auto maker took a big stake in Nissan in 1999. Dispatched to Japan that year to fix Nissan, Mr. Ghosn executed a rapid turnaround. For years, Mr. Saikawa worked closely by his side helping Nissan reduce costs in its supply chain.

      When Mr. Saikawa’s appointment as chief executive was announced last year, Mr. Ghosn said Mr. Saikawa was a man he could “totally trust.”

      As the relationship soured, some people within Nissan believed that José Muñoz, the chief performance officer, might be in line for Mr. Saikawa’s job, according to people familiar with internal discussions at Nissan. Until the end of last year, Mr. Muñoz was head of Nissan’s North American operations and he led the push to expand the company’s U.S. market share. In March, Mr. Muñoz was put in charge of China operations and remained Nissan’s performance chief.

      However, Mr. Saikawa blamed Mr. Muñoz for Nissan’s diminished U.S. profitability as well as the current sales decline, said one person familiar with their conversations. Mr. Muñoz couldn’t be reached for comment.”

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/carlos-ghosn-planned-to-replace-nissan-ceo-before-his-arrest-1544348502

      Reply
    • Baudrillard says:

      I have always maintained Japan is 19th century in so many ways-including its language style, very Victorian- and someone commented Japan “has democracy/free speech but it is not the done thing to use it.”

      Also, that democracy was imposed upon it, against its natural inclinations (Abe’s narrative against the constitution).

      Reply
  • Josh Lawrence says:

    This site does valuable public service by defending innocent NJs. Do you really want to defend Mr. NJ CEO, accused of serious financial crimes including tax evasion and embezzlement thru a Saudi slush fund? Let’s not lose sight of the crux of this matter. We are talking about whether a super-rich CEO is a criminal or not. Don’t get distracted by his spin game. Yes, Japan doesn’t like NJs orchestrating a hostile takeover of a major J company employing 240,000 people. Yes, Japan mistreats detainees, especially NJs. That’s wrong. We all know that. But we aren’t talking about a Nepali wrongly accused of murder, or an African murdered on an airplane, or the unfair detention of NJs defending dolphins. Mr NJ CEO has a net worth of 120 million USD, according to Forbes. How does a person (who probably doesn’t understand Japanese) manage to amass such wealth in a Japanese company? If you think that’s not a problem, consider this fact. Mr. NJ CEO told the Nikkei that he needed a large home in Beirut (in corrupt, thuggish LEBANON) to receive guests. Really? You are CEO of a Japanese company, but you NEED a palace in Beirut? You really think your honored guests would be safer visiting you in Beirut (home to gun runners, Israeli operatives, Hezbollah terrorists and some 2 million refugees from Syria War next door) than at Nissan HQ in heiwa-boke Japan? I challenge Debito and others to go to Beirut. You’ll see thuggish bodyguards with machine guns guarding people such as this NJ CEO. You’ll see barbed wire perimeters and heavily-armed troops in combat gear guarding public buildings (instead of Ojiisan in Japan). Beirut is one of the most corrupt and dangerous cities in the world. Yet Mr. NJ CEO of Nissan Jidosha says he NEEDS a home in this snake pit war zone to receive “guests”? How wacko is that? His admission alone raises serious questions about Mr. NJ CEO. Not because he’s an NJ. It’s because he’s an NJ with 3 passports and private jets who amassed 120 million USD, deceived his lawyers and apparently paid off criminals to smuggle him out of country where the average Nissan worker won’t earn 1 million USD in their lifetime. If you are going to defend NJ, don’t defend this one. He ain’t worth it.

    Reply
    • AnonymousOG says:

      On one hand, you’re right, that rich jerk Ghosn probably DID do something illegal, at some time in his life, so screw him.

      Actually, to take it to the logical extreme, we should jail ANYONE with a net-worth of over a million dollars, then forcibly search through all their stuff, then find some evidence to retroactively rationalize the initial jailing and searching, this way we can easily we can legally imprison all the rich probable-criminals.

      Actually, we should use that “jail and forcibly search first, present evidence to the court later” technique against ALL unpopular people whom the current majority dislike.

      Yeah, actually we should just do that to everyone: Jail and search ’em all first, then let the judges sort out later which few should then be released eventually with a note of “oops, sorry” when sufficient evidence of a crime is unfortunately never found.

      The end justifies the means, doesn’t it? Jailing all 7 billion people and searching through all their property for about a year each would probably end in the positive result of uncovering a billion (or at least a few million) criminals right, so why don’t we just do that?

      Why don’t we forcibly search everyone who walks down the street, to save the children from potential weaponize-able items like pencils or plants?

      Who cares about human rights when it comes to criminals, right? If you’re not a criminal, simply allow the police officers with quota pressures to look through all your pockets, bags, briefcases, bank accounts, homes, safes, since you’ve got nothing to hide right?

      Why require sufficient evidence of a crime BEFORE the search? Let’s just search everybody, and see what we find, only a criminal would mind, eh?

      On the other hand, maybe Justice requires treating ALL humans the same. The same requirements which protect innocent YOU from being illegally stopped, questioned, searched, and jailed, should also protect those jerks whom you dislike and whom you suspect (without sufficient evidence) of probably having committed some crime.

      Regardless of whether the person is poor or rich, majority or minority, liked or disliked, we SHOULD care about the human-rights-violating actions of Japan’s police officers and prosecutors: illegal stop, illegal questioning, illegal search, illegal prevention of free movement = illegal detaining = illegal jailing, all approved by Japan’s government, Japan’s “Justice” system, and Japan’s culture in general.

      BEFORE police officers initiate voluntary questioning, BEFORE judges approve search warrants and arrest warrants, all those public workers are legally and morally required to obey the vital human-rights protection laws which require FIRST having sufficient evidence to suspect that person committed a specific crime.

      ALL people must be equally protected from illegal questioning, illegal searches, and illegal jailing, even when the suspect is disliked by the majority of a nation for whatever reason.

      The vital worldwide Justice system is being chipped away by a dangerous ever-increasing trend: the presumption of guilt and thus the rationalization of jailing WITHOUT sufficient evidence being presented in a fair speedy trial first.

      “Josh Lawrence”, you listed your personal rationalizations for approving the preemptive imprisonment of a particular person without sufficient evidence:

      “accused of serious financial crimes including tax evasion and embezzlement thru a Saudi slush fund”

      “orchestrating a hostile takeover of a major J company employing 240,000 people”

      “has a net worth of 120 million USD, according to Forbes. How does a person manage to amass such wealth”

      “told the Nikkei that he needed a large home in Beirut to receive guests – that admission alone raises serious questions about Ghosn.”

      Hopefully if you were a judge you would require actual evidence of a crime first before issuing a search warrant and/or an arrest warrant.

      Look, I don’t like trillionaires, billionaires, or even millionaires, since such inequality in pay is inherently unfair to the people slaving away at the factories MANY more hours per week doing MUCH harder work (harder work, dirtier work, and more dangerous work) for comparatively slave wages.

      My opinion goes even one step further: if a person’s net-worth is over one million dollars, that person (or the parents whom that person received funding from) probably committed a crime sometime to amass that money.

      So it feels weird for me to spend even a moment’s time defending this millionaire jerk Ghosn, but as it happens, as I stated in my previous summary, the correct time to report and pay any income tax is: the March AFTER one has actually received that income.

      https://tinyurl.com/JapanTimesCensorship
      https://tinyurl.com/JapanTodayCensorship

      “…the allegations were unfounded, since the suspected unreported pay was deferred income he had not yet received.”

      This “we’ll pay you later gaijin-san, trust us” Deferred-Pay-Plan was indeed signed by the coup leader current Nissan President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa:

      “Investigators at the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office … obtained a paper listing the pretext for the deferred payment that bore the signatures of … Nissan President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa”

      https://tinyurl.com/SaikawaSignedDeferredPayPlan

      So, it turns out the whole “lying about income” charge which was used to arrest Ghosn in the first place was always absolutely illogical since: one does NOT have to pay tax for money one has NOT received.

      The correct time to report and pay any income tax is: the March AFTER one has actually received that income.

      One does NOT need to pay taxes many years in advance based on some company merely promising, “we’ll pay you billions of yen many years in the future gaijin-san, after you retire, trust us.”

      Which is why the “lying about income” charge which was used to arrest Ghosn in the first place HAD to be dropped.

      (And thus, during the unlawful jailing for that first DROPPED-charge, two other new charges were subsequently drummed up instead.)

      Oh, and here’s an extra footnote: even though Saikawa’s Nissan NEVER DID pay those billions of “deferred payments” to Ghosn, and even though Saikawa’s Nissan probably NEVER WILL pay those billions of “deferred payments” to Ghosn, Saikawa’s Nissan is now illogically “cleaning up their books” by placing those (absolutely NOT paid) billions into the March 2019 “expense” column, thus illogically & illegally reducing the company’s tax obligation, and strangely (but not surprisingly) Japan is allowing this action to be done by Saikawa’s Nissan:

      https://tinyurl.com/UnpaidYetExpenseClaimMarch2019

      In my opinion, that first “tax evasion via under-reporting income” charge was an ILLEGAL ARREST performed by those police officers of Japan and approved by those prosecutors of Japan, so there is no need for me to even bother disproving the subsequent charges they drummed up after the initial ILLEGAL ARREST.

      In my opinion, those specific police officers and those specific prosecutors who committed the illegal arrest for the NON-crime of “not reporting income which one has not yet received” are themselves the real criminals in this situation.

      In my opinion, those specific public workers violated Japan’s Penal Code Article 194 (“Keihou Dai 194”) which outlaws a police officer from confining an individual without first having the prerequisite probable cause to reasonably believe an ACTUAL CRIME had been committed in the first place.

      Thus, in my opinion, the specific police officers and the specific prosecutors who committed the illegal arrest in the first place are themselves guilty of the ACTUAL CRIME of Shokken Ranyou, a very serious crime which has a penalty of putting those specific criminals into prison for up to 10 YEARS according to the law of Japan.

      Naturally, I know that Shokken Ranyou law of Japan is rarely applied in general and of course WON’T be righteously applied against these specific police officers nor against these criminal prosecutors, I just wanted to remind readers that in my opinion these criminal public workers SHOULD be justly arrested for their crime of Shokken Ranyou.

      (BTW “Josh Lawrence” reminds me of “Chris Johnson” who ALSO used the same rare phrase:
      Ctrl+F “heiwa-boke” http://archive.is/LMp9V
      Which reminds me about the time I and others noticed CJ deceptively talking about himself in the third-person before:
      https://www.debito.org/?p=9868&cpage=2#comment-308005
      https://www.debito.org/?p=9868&cpage=2#comment-307737 )

      Anyway, here is a new article from The Economist about Ghosn, who probably was a jerk, who probably committed crimes, who definitely was a victim of illegal police actions in Japan:

      “THE LAST time there was an international fugitive from justice called Carlos lying low in Lebanon was in 1975, when Carlos the Jackal hid in Beirut. Today the man on the run is not a terrorist but a celebrity executive known for fanatical cost-cutting. On December 31st Carlos Ghosn, the former boss of Renault-Nissan, who was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct, said that he had jumped bail and fled to Lebanon. He grew up there and it has no extradition arrangements with Japan. Mr Ghosn says he is a victim of “injustice and political persecution” by Japan’s legal system. Japan’s prosecutors, meanwhile, view him as a crook evading justice. In fact, this is far from being a simple morality tale. Each of the three main parties in the saga—Renault-Nissan, Japan’s authorities and Mr Ghosn himself—has hard questions to answer.

      Mr Ghosn took charge of Nissan in 2001 and then, in 2005, of Renault, too. The French car firm has a 43% stake in the Japanese one, and together with Mitsubishi they form an alliance that is the world’s biggest carmaker by volume. It sounds impressive, but even the laser-focused Mr Ghosn struggled to make the fiddly pact run smoothly. He claims that he was planning closer integration of Renault and Nissan, and that nationalistic Japanese executives and officials, who wanted to keep Nissan independent, thwarted the plan by engineering his arrest.

      Mr Ghosn sees himself as a martyr and denies any wrongdoing, but there are flashing red lights about his conduct. In September America’s Securities and Exchange Commission said that he and a colleague concealed $140m of compensation payments from Nissan, involving secret contracts, backdated letters and misleading disclosures. Nissan, Mr Ghosn and his colleague settled the charges and paid fines while neither admitting nor denying the allegations. Mr Ghosn is banned from being a company officer in America for ten years. There have been reports of other complex transactions between Nissan and its former boss which, if true, suggest that an imperious leader may have lost his sense of the boundary between his personal finances and those of the firm he ran.

      You might hope that Japan’s justice system would swiftly and fairly get to the bottom of all this. But its conviction rate of over 99% reflects its harsh treatment of suspects, which has been on full display here. Mr Ghosn was arrested, released, rearrested and then released on bail again. He was subject to interrogation without a lawyer. His lawyers say they have been unable to see key documents and that, while on bail, Mr Ghosn’s access to his wife and the internet were restricted. After 13 months of investigations, the trial has still not begun. What is more, rotten disclosure about pay is common across Japan Inc.

      As the stink around Mr Ghosn’s case worsens, Renault and Nissan, which together employ over 300,000 people, are tottering. Unable to reap the efficiencies of being a single company, they have long produced mediocre performance—their combined return on equity probably slipped below 5% in 2019. Paralysed by the scandal, both firms face shrinking sales and margins. In May Renault sought redemption through a merger with Fiat Chrysler to create a European champion, but managerial dithering and meddling by the French government caused the deal to collapse. (Fiat’s chairman sits on the board of The Economist’s parent company.) Fiat is now merging with another French car firm, PSA, instead.

      What next? Renault and Nissan should either merge or unwind their cross-shareholdings. Both need to cut costs in order to get fit again. Japan’s authorities must explain how Mr Ghosn absconded, and deal with his claims of persecution. As for the boss-turned-bolter, he has pledged to clear his name. But his position is extraordinary. He is an outlaw, holed up in a country half the size of New Jersey. From being king of the car industry he now risks a lifetime on the back seat, hiding under a blanket.”

      https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/01/no-one-comes-out-of-the-carlos-ghosn-affair-smelling-of-roses

      Reply
    • David Markle says:

      What Mr Ghosn managed to accomplish in Japan nonetheless, is nothing short of astounding. Most NJ can only dream of being in a position such as his, even after spending a lifetime of groveling to the dominant culture they find themselves in. Mr. Ghosn granted, was in the right time and place to take advantage of an opportunity to gain control of a troubled major carmaker which he turned around by injecting a non-Japanese philosophy into – He fired people who were underperforming. He also inserted NJ into positions of real power and responsibility, instead of making them window dressing in a faux appearance of “internationalization” This made him many enemies among the racial purists who loathe the thought of anything or anyone of NJ heritage having any control or power over them. It also helps that he is extremely competent, probably worked 80 hour weeks, has real talent, and is very competitive. People who reach his position usually are, and he managed to hold on to it for over 10 years. He made his own luck.

      I find the accusations of his criminal conduct shallow at best and hypocritical given that anyone in his position (and there are many reading this who would give anything to be in his position of they are honest with themselves) would do. The fact that he chose to own a home in the country of his parents birth, which granted has it’s faults is irrelevant. His experiences in Japan and his story in dealing with the Japanese are what I most look forward to knowing about in great detail.

      Reply
      • As I posted elsewhere, I got to work in Nissan part time 4 mornings a week just after Ghosn had taken over, and although the reception atmosphere was conservative/Japanese only, the staff I met were being trained to be “international” and were tired, somewhat in shock about the change in management style, working long hours to keep their jobs.
        Oh, and the French arm of their ad agency was in the next building. Kind of like an encirclement.

        Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Josh Lawrence, it doesn’t matter how rich Carlos is, he was persecuted by a corrupt system because he is NJ.
      It doesn’t matter how he chooses to spend his money- he can buy a mansion in North Korea for all I care; it’s HIS money he can spend it how he likes.
      Clearly, you haven’t visited Lebanon recently, but your bias is showing, and disliking Lebanon does not automatically make Carlos guilty.
      Please post less, I could do without reading your racist rants.

      Reply
    • realitycheck says:

      Thanks for the above rants Josh or should your name here be Gosh as that is what I thought upon reading your misleading posts.
      Just as many Japanese are doing, you are misdirecting by refusing to deal with the fundamental issue here – Japan’s ‘justice’ system in which there is a presumption of guilt to start with which is then enforced and reinforced through interrogations that can last up to just about a month, holding a suspect without charges until they break and sign a confession, all of these actions of which are then presented as ‘proof’ of criminality.
      This would be a joke if it were fiction but sadly this is not fiction, this is the Japanese ‘justice system’ in the 21st century. Such actions to force confessions in order to keep up a nearly 100 percent conviction rate are very close to what goes on in mainland China and authoritarian countries all around the world with no concept of the rule of law and a civic society.
      Did Carlos G actually commit those crimes? We will never know because he quite rightly understood that these centuries old practices passing for legal process in the Japanese ‘justice’ system are designed to convict the accused as presumption of guilt is what this is all based on.
      This is a repulsive system that hasn’t been reformed unsurprisingly because of the political ties successive Japanese governments have with fascist Japan of the pre WW 2 and WW 2 periods.
      Carlos G was supposed to submit while questionable Japanese managers of Nissan were looking as if they were going to get a pass. Mr Saikawa was free to roam around despite legitimate questions about his role as were around 80 other Nissan employees identified in an independent audit.
      Everybody has the right to a legal process that hasn’t already decided they committed the crimes of which they are accused in genuine parliamentary democracies, much as they have their flaws.
      I’ll end by saying it might be an instructive experience for you yourself one day to be up against this Japanese ‘justice’ system as you clearly do not understand the fundamental issue here.
      And I’ll also say that Dr Debito and others including me do not have to take up your ridiculous faux ‘challenge’ nor do your rants about Lebanon and Beirut provide any logical counter-argument.
      Finally, ‘corruption’ isn’t limited to Lebanon and in fact if you live in Japan you must spend your time in a very tight and small bubble if you think it didn’t have anything to do with many issues over the years including the journalist close to the Prime Minister who magically escaped a criminal trial on rape allegations.
      Note I say ‘allegations’ as I do not believe anybody should be convicted as in being presumed guilty and the police and court’s role simply being to force a confession out of them. Interestingly enough a civil case against this chum of the PM was won by the woman who brought the case against him.

      Reply
    • I think it is you who are distracted, or attempting to distract, via the spin game.

      You talk about other NJ who were murdered. It is really strange to talk about them in this thread about Ghosn.

      Yes Ghosn was rich. Rich even before he worked for Nissan. His wealth didn’t protect him from the ‘glass cliff’ in Japan though, did it? Whereas all other law breakers at Nissan of Japanese origin remained out of jail. He was the only one detained and he was detained for months and his wife’s belongings (passports) were stolen by the Japanese police.

      There has been no trial to date because there is no evidence of wrongdoing that does not also incriminate a lots of other Japanese people. Do you think Ghosn does his own taxes? No. He asks his legal experts whether X can be done, and if they agree it can then they do it after all the supervisors and C levels also sign off on it. They are all party to whatever Ghosn did with Nissan money.

      Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Carlos Ghosn called a ‘coward’ for fleeing the Japanese ‘justice’ system;

    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/japan-media-blasts-%27cowardly%27-ghosn-after-escape#

    On the other hand, Fujimori got a free pass from the J-media when he escaped justice in Peru by fleeing to Japan using his tenuous family historical links (and the fact that his trial would have exposed Japanese financial support for his ethnic cleansing of Peruvian minorities).

    One rule for NJ, another for Japanese ‘blood’.

    Reply
  • Owen Hughes says:

    “harsher jurisprudence for NJs accused of crimes”

    What about all the foreigners who are treated to an arrest, a relatively speedy trial, and swift deportation (largely to countries where they will face few if any further consequences) for the same drug offenses that will land a Japanese citizen a prison sentence of several years? It depends on the crime, surely?

    Reply
    • AnonymousOG says:

      Getting real tired of this “Owen Hughes” troll, whose attacks on Debito’s original desired racial-discrimination-sign-removing photo at Wikipedia, and whose attacks on Debito’s statements here, are consistently wasting our time and energy.

      As Debito correctly explained above:

      “Japan’s judicial system has a separate track for NJ suspects, including:
      – harsher jurisprudence for NJs accused of crimes,
      – lax jurisprudence for NJ victims of crimes,
      – uneven language translation services,
      – general denial of bail for NJ,
      – an extra incarceration system for subsequent visa violations while in jail,
      – and incarceration rates for NJs four times that for citizens.
      (See my book Embedded Racism, Ch. 6.)

      Most indicative of separate and unequal treatment is that some of the accusations, which fall under a statute of limitations of seven years under the Companies Act, are still applicable. Prosecutors have argued that statutes do not apply to Ghosn because he spent time overseas. Apparently even the passage of time is different for foreigners, because the clock stops if they ever leave Japan!”

      The “Owen Hughes” troll is now basically saying:

      “What about all the foreigners whom Japan swiftly deports for the same drug offenses that will land a Japanese citizen a prison sentence of several years? What about that? Look at me, I think I’m proving Debito’s ‘harsher jurisprudence for NJs’ statement to somehow be false! What about that, huh? I’m so smart, right?”

      Wrong. Actually your ‘deportation is not harsh’ projection is probably due to being a wifeless childless careerless boy who has not made Japan his actual permanent home, who thus imagines deportation as a perfectly nice flight back to his childhood bedroom once again living with mommy and daddy. He implies, “Mommy & Daddy are where my home is, so returning there without prison means I escaped punishment, so Japan is being nicer to NJ by treating them differently by deporting them.”

      No, Debito’s point remains absolutely true: Japan dishes out harsher jurisprudence for NJs in Japan.

      Here is the harshness of the unequal punishment: for NJ adults who have made Japan their home over most of their lifetime here, with a spouse here, with kids here, with a career here, being sentenced to deportation is a LIFE SENTENCE of never living together with one’s children in Japan ever again. That is infinitely harsher than the punishment given to the Japanese citizen for the same crime.

      The Japanese citizen will be home raising his children again within merely a few years or 6 months – or even within a few weeks if discriminatorily allowed the suspended-sentence non-punishment commonly generously-granted to first-offense Japanese-citizens, meaning no harsh penalty at all for such lucky Yamato-race people caught for the same crime, who by the way have far lower chance of being arrested in the first place, due to far lower chance of being stopped and forcibly frisked in the first place, due to the Embedded Racism of Japan which allows and encourages using RACE as probable cause to suspect a crime.

      TLDR: The punishment Japan dishes out to a Non-Japanese citizen (Lifetime banishment, permanent exile, loss of home, loss of career, loss of wife, loss of one’s children forever or forcing wife and children to suddenly move away from their home country to try to avoid this lifetime soul-crushing family separation ruling) is actually far HARSHER than the temporary time-away-from-family punishment which Japan gives (or often doesn’t give) to a Japanese citizen for the exact same crime.

      Debito already has written and sourced well throughout his post and his site and his books, the non-debatable facts that:

      Japan’s judicial system has a separate track for NJ suspects, including:
      – harsher jurisprudence for NJs accused of crimes,
      – lax jurisprudence for NJ victims of crimes,
      – uneven language translation services,
      – general denial of bail for NJ,
      – an extra incarceration system for subsequent visa violations while in jail,
      – and incarceration rates for NJs four times that for citizens.
      (See Debito’s book Embedded Racism, Ch. 6.)

      So “Owen Hughes”, how about taking your love for trolling back to Wikipedia please, and don’t post your lame debate attempts here again.

      https://archive.is/8vcNt (2012 came to Japan)

      Or, if you are so desperate to pretend you are “honestly just trying to find the truth here” how about you first honestly tell us the names of the 5 “show us your passport” hotels which you boldly claimed you supposedly successfully educated and which you even claimed were happy be corrected:

      http://www.debito.org/?p=15863#comment-1766496

      Tell us the 5 hotels, to prove your bold claim, or STFU. How about that?

      Reply
      • Owen Hughes says:

        Not going to respond to the personal attacks and vulgarity, but I will note that demanding the violation of a client’s confidentiality agreement with my employer is clearly inappropriate.

        Reply
  • This, and Uncertainty Avoidance “It does not inspire confidence in Japan’s justice system that Ghosn’s guilt or innocence on the this charge will hinge on semantic distinctions over the meanings of “clear” and “material.””
    Since Japan is all about maintaining the “wa” and obfuscation over communication, “clarity” is not its strong point. Russia and Japan have similar scores for high Uncertainty Avoidance but somewhat paradoxically, this doesnt mean they express things directly. Just they want to interpret correctly on a case by case basis. Rule of Law is necessarily.vague and may be interpreted differently as situations change. (Thats why they would rather say “maybe” instead of an outright “no” because maybe one day, far in the future there is a 2% chance of needing you so they dont want to shut the door on that).

    https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/
    Japan needs a Gorbachev style Glasnost event; I d say the country Japan most resembles is Russia, during its G8 membership period especially, in so many ways.

    Reply
  • “How could he do this to us” says his lawyer. Why the obligation to Japan? What about Okyaku san wa Kami sama? Is Ghosn paying you?
    ““It would have been difficult for him to do this without the assistance of some large organisation,” Hironaka said at a hastily organised press conference. “I want to ask him, ‘How could he do this to us?’

    “I wanted to prove he was innocent,” said Hironaka, who last saw Ghosn on Christmas Day. “But when I saw his statement in the press, I thought he doesn’t trust Japan’s courts.””
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/dec/31/carlos-ghosn-escaped-japan-hiding-in-a-musical-instrument-case

    Reply
  • Northern Fish says:

    The issue is not whether he’s guilty or not, the issue is how a giant businessmen was “caught” so easily as if he was a teenager embezzling money from their part-time job as a supermarket cashier. Especially given no solid evidence was brought to light.

    This is shameful and alarming; everyone is scared from settling in Japan and will rethink their decision.

    Reply
  • “The clashes now center on Hari Nada, a Nissan vice president who oversees its legal department. Previously Mr. Nada had worked closely with Mr. Ghosn on sensitive matters, and some Nissan lawyers have said that given the potential conflicts of interest, Mr. Nada needed to do more to avoid any involvement in probes of Mr. Ghosn’s actions.

    Ms. Murray and others had assembled a list of around 80 employees at Nissan who they believed had assisted Mr. Ghosn or obstructed the investigation and ranked the severity of these employees’ actions on a scale of 0 to 5, said the people familiar with the effort. Mr. Nada was a 5, they said.”

    Well this sounds familiar. I am surprised Nissan didn’t appoint it’s own auditors to do an internal investigation finding the results of wanted. Oh wait! It did!

    Reply
    • AnonymousOG says:

      1. Nissan’s Saikawa signed a contract promising to pay a “deferred income future promised bonus” to Ghosn many years later.

      https://tinyurl.com/SaikawaSignedDeferredPayPlan

      2. Japanese police officers jail Ghosn for “tax evasion by not reporting in advance” that not-yet-received possible-future-income.

      3. The judge forces the prosecutor to drop that initial charge, since (as the arresting officers and the whole world understands) one only needs to report and pay taxes on income which one has actually RECEIVED.

      4. At that point, in any actual first-world country, the judge would have to rule:
      – since the initial charge was about a perfectly legal action,
      – since the initial charge was thus dropped by the prosecution,
      – since the initial arrest was thus proven an illegal false-arrest,
      – the victim of the false arrest must be immediately released and all “evidence” collected during the illegal jailing became illegally-collected-evidence which is totally unusable in court. Case dismissed.

      And the lesson to be learned is: Hey, police officers, the law requires you to FIRST find evidence of an actual illegal action BEFORE you do any searches, because if you don’t obey that law, everything you find after that becomes totally unusable.

      Get it? The police cannot arrest a person for a perfectly legal action and then while the victim is in jail start forcibly looking through his stuff.

      Perhaps your hatred for the rich (which I have too brother, probably even more than you) is blinding you to the fact that: the initial arrest was illegal and thus all the subsequent “evidence” was illegally-collected.

      I get the impression, with all your “Beirut Palace” talk, is that you probably feel: “I don’t care what illegal actions the police did, I don’t care what illegal actions the prosecutor did, let’s just find evidence to imprison this $123M white-collar-crook by ANY MEANS NECESSARY!”

      Look, even though I hate the rich, I still say a Justice system must treat everyone exactly the same. The police must obey the laws they swore to uphold. The police can’t break those laws during their attempts to imprison people. When the police break the laws before a search, the arrested person must be freed, even if that search found evidence of some other crime.

      Imagine a random not-rich person, just like you or me, for example a person named “CJ” in Canada, happens to enjoy a perfectly legal action like smoking a joint of Legal Medical Cannabis in Canada: how would you feel if the police illegally false-arrested you for that perfectly legal action, then during the illegal jailing the police grabbed all your papers and computers and began illegally searching for evidence of “some OTHER crime”, and then a few weeks or months later the prosecutor announces “we’re dropping the first charge, since that first charge was about a perfectly legal action, oops, sorry about that, but meanwhile during the illegal jailing we have found evidence in his paperwork and in his computers of some OTHER crimes, so we’re now going to keep him jailed indefinitely until the trial for these OTHER crimes for which he will be imprisoned for.”

      Any logical lawyer, and any logical person, would reply “No, the victim of the false-arrest must be immediately released and all ‘evidence’ collected during the illegal jailing became illegally-collected-evidence which is totally unusable in court!”

      See, I would defend CJ as being a victim of illegal arrest, illegal jailing, illegal search, and thus subsequent illegal prosecution.

      I would say “Free CJ immediately! And arrest the officers and prosecutors who did the illegal arrest and the illegal searches!”

      And if (due to rational concern about the judge in the upcoming final trial date potentially doing illegal actions like the police and prosecutors already did) if CJ successfully skipped bail and flew away from the illegally-acting system, I would say “Bravo CJ, you made the right choice!” (regardless of the fact that I personally dislike CJ for his past actions of having deceptively attempted to fool us about fact he didn’t have a work visa when he tried to reenter Japan and deceptively having praised himself in the third person in the Economist “The guy is one of the top journalists in Asia” using the alias imcanjapn.)

      See, we’re not “defending” Ghosn. Ghosn is probably guilty of something. We’re criticizing illegal police actions, which in Japan are disproportionately committed against “Non-Japanese-Race” people here, as you know very well. Our critique of Japan’s racist culture, and Japan’s racist illegal acts, and Japan’s injust “justice” system in general, is actually defending the inherent human rights of ALL humans existing in Japan.

      By the way, does everyone here realize that Ghosn never received that promised bonus?

      And does everyone here realize that Nissan pretended they paid that bonus when it came to tax-time?

      Saikawa’s Nissan illogically “cleaned up the books” by placing those (absolutely NOT paid) billions into the March 2019 “expense” column, thus illegally reducing the company’s tax obligation:

      https://tinyurl.com/UnpaidYetExpenseClaimMarch2019

      TLDR: If I were Ghosn, I wouldn’t feel “I’ve gained a free palace in Beirut, yay” I would instead feel “I was hired by Nissan to clean up their Olympus-like hidden-debt problem caused by decades of mismanagement, I was given a performance-based future bonus promise contract signed by Saikawa, I was then falsely arrested for the legal action of waiting for that bonus to actually be paid before paying taxes on it, I was then illegally jailed and had all my paperwork and computers illegally looked through, I was prevented from speaking with my wife, I was prevented from speaking with my children, I was physically damaged forever by the stress of the probable upcoming decades of false imprisonment, all due to the initial false-arrest. And if the police officers and prosecutors and even judges can commit such illegal actions with impunity when it comes to a rich person like me, imagine what they do on a daily basis to poor people. What an injust ‘justice’ system.”

      Reply
  • Joshua Lawrence says:

    This site has dedicated years to fighting racism in Japan. Isn’t it racist to say that Ghosn is a hero because he realized that NJs are more competent than the Japanese he fired?

    On another point, Debito seems correct in suggesting this is a boardroom coup. Is it justified? Nissan’s stock has lost 60 percent of its value in 6 years while the market overall has been booming to its highest level since 1990. This means investors (many of them are Nissan workers or car owners) have lost billions while Ghosn continued to amass wealth estimated at $120 million.

    If I worked for Nissan or owned stock, I would want a boardroom coup. I would want auditors to investigate the CEO living in homes around the world, paid for by Nissan. I would want prosecutors to investigate him and, if necessary, detain him without bail, since he’s a flight risk.

    It turns out that the fears over flight risk were warranted. Reuters reports he was plotting it for the last 3 months. This crook was talking to reporters and spin doctoring the narrative at a time when he was planning to jump bail, dupe his lawyers and pay off a criminal network with people in Japan, Turkey and Lebanon. But we are supposed to trust him?

    Turkey has arrested four pilots and three grounds crew. What other crimes (with victims) have these people committed? Or maybe they are all just first time offenders who never hurt a soul until Carlos threw money at them.

    — Source on Turkey arrests please.

    Reply
    • J-nationalists’ top priority is preserve the system- even if it ruins the economy. or loses them money. Abenomics is a smokescreen for nationalist revisionism- he couldnt care less about economics-IMHO.
      -“Debito seems correct in suggesting this is a boardroom coup. Is it justified? Nissan’s stock has lost 60 percent of its value in 6 years “

      Reply
    • “If I worked for Nissan or owned stock, I would want a boardroom coup. I would want auditors to investigate the CEO living in homes around the world, paid for by Nissan. I would want prosecutors to investigate him and, if necessary, detain him without bail, since he’s a flight risk.”

      You are describing what happens in fascist states. There is no crime in a legally appointed CEO getting rich. If you think it is unethical then that’s fine, but it happens, literally, in every country. And it is not illegal.

      This issue is about racist application of police intervention.

      You want to talk about immoral CEO payments around the world, then have at it, somewhere else.

      Reply
      • Josh Lawrence says:

        OK, let’s talk about “racist application of police intervention”. Do you think Mr. NJ CEO got away with his alleged crimes for years because of the widespread perception that he was a special NJ who somehow “saved” Nissan? If he was a relatively unknown non-NJ CEO, (with one passport, living in Kansai or Saitama) it’s possible that police and other executives would have turned against this uncelebrated CEO much earlier, given what we now know about him (ex. willingness to jump bail, dupe his lawyers, risk punishment of family and colleagues, pay off criminals to smuggle him out of Japan to Turkey, benefit from cozy ties to corrupt politicians in Lebanon, etc…)

        Mr. NJ CEO enjoyed a very cozy relationship with the NJ media, thanks in part to Nissan hiring key members of the FCCJ for their PR spin doctoring team. (Shall we name these people and hold them accountable?) Did this make it harder, or easier, for police and executives to go after him? Given what we now know about him, I suspect that Mr. NJ CEO paid off these “journos” to somehow shield him from bad press or unwanted attention (of the police variety). Why else would he throw away so much money to hire journos away from media companies?

        The bigger issue here is the fall=out from this case. Are NJs more likely to get bail in future cases? Probably not.

        Are police, prosecutors and the J public going to be more suspicious of NJs and NJ CEOs? Most likely yes.

        Does this cast all NJs in a more negative light? It certainly doesn’t put NJs in a more positive light.

        Will Mr fugitive NJ CEO’s cries for “justice” change an archaic system that is often unfair to NJs? Dream on.

        Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      And..?
      Is there a point coming soon?
      Y’know, something about Japan’s deprivation of human rights of NJ’s ALLEGED to have committed crimes? Something about J-prosecutors making arrests when they need 2 years to cobble together a case (in my birth country, they put the case together before the arrest- y’know, not starting with the desired conclusion and working backwards and all)?
      No?
      Just a load of whattaboutery and muddying of the waters.
      Weak.

      You gotta love these Japan apologists that have only been in country a couple of years, don’t own property, or businesses in Japan, don’t have kids that are Japanese citizens, and blame those of us that do and speak out against discrimination for bursting their little fantasy Japan bubble. Like I’ve said before, they’re in the company of Greg Clark who had his waaay much more elite and luxurious bubble than they could ever dream of achieving, burst by a beat cop in a koban in Shibuya who didn’t care how much Greg loved Japan. Sad.

      If they can lock up Ghosn for an intended 2 years without trial and family contact, imagine what they would do to YOU Owen Hughes, Josh Lawrence! And you’re nobodies, you’re not going to make international headlines. They can keep you forever.

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz wrote;
        “Like I’ve said before, they’re in the company of Greg Clark who had his waaay much more elite and luxurious bubble than they could ever dream of achieving, burst by a beat cop in a koban in Shibuya who didn’t care how much Greg loved Japan.”

        I knew him in the 80 s when he was developing property in Chiba. I would like to hear the story about the Koban Cop. Can you provide a reference please?

        —- IIRC, that essay used the word “frog-marched” in it. Include it in your search terms.

        Reply
        • Jim Di Griz says:

          Oh, here’s a link;
          https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/12/03/voices/kick-touts-rule-roppongi/

          Please enjoy! It still made me laugh out loud even though I’ve read it many times.
          Summery; GC’s NJ companion has a minor incident in the street. GC reacts like it’s an international incident (don’t Nigerian ticket touts on the streets of Shibuya know who he is?). GC is subject to the same kind of racist abuse he claims doesn’t exist in Japan, goes to the police and gets the brush off, suffers indignity overload because he’s a ‘special gaijin’ with ‘connections and everything!’.
          Absolutely hilarious!

          Reply
          • David Markle says:

            Apparently they didn’t recognize his greatness. Poor Gregory, what horrible humiliation he must have had to endure.

      • Joshua Lawrence says:

        Jim, I agree with you on most points about these injustices to people in Japan, especially foreigners such as the folks you mentioned. My point in a nutshell is that Mr. NJ CEO doesn’t seem like a victim to me. Le Cost Killer (as he’s known) made millions from firing people earning 100 times less than him. He oversaw the downfall of the world’s largest automaker while amassing a personal net worth of $120 million, according to Forbes. He’s now “safely” in a city full of Hezbollah terrorists bent on avenging the US military killing of an Iranian military leader.

        He’s trying to merge a Japanese company with a French company mainly owned by the French government. Is that going to rile people in Japan? Absolutely.

        Relative to other detainees or suspects, he got special treatment from the people he rails against for “injustice”. He’s the last NJ we should be defending on this website. Much better fish to fry than this one.

        — Your posts are starting to get repetitive.

        Reply
        • realitycheck says:

          Some media sources on the net published photos of the so-called ‘palace’ you say Carlos G has in Lebanon and in which he is living at present. It doesn’t resemble a palace in any way and in fact Joe or Joanne Public can walk right by on the street.

          Carlos G has little or nothing to do with Hezbollah and your caricature of them. He is not a Muslim and even if he were that would have no bearing on this matter. Clearly Lebanese politics is something you need to cease commenting on as interestingly enough Iran and its associated groups such as Hezbollah are supported by a coalition of Shia Muslims, Christians and Druze in both Lebanon and Syria. Pollitical situations in Lebanon and many non-western/non East Asian countries are incredibly complex.

          You might be interested in a Japan Today website article. In it the Japanese authorities have spoken on Carlos G and while predictably they are furious at their loss of face re his escape, the prosecutor’s office has really nailed unintentinally what this is all about.

          The Prosecutor’s office declared that lengthy detention in Japan is necessary to prove the detained person’s guilty beyond doubt and that way when they go to court their conviction will be beyond doubt.

          So they are admitting unashamedly and unironically that the objections of Carlos G and his legal team are actually correct – the Japanese justice system relies on coercion into admitting ‘guilt’ regardless of whether or not the person is guitly through lengthy interrogations, detention and finally forced confessions.

          In fact in Japan it already it has been decided the detained person is guilty – it’s ‘simply’ a matter of them breaking down, signing a confession and making the Prosection’s case merely a rubber stamp. Nazi ‘justice’ and Soviet ‘justice’ under Stalin would find much in common with so called first world democracy Japan in 2029,

          If this wasn’t so wicked and redolent of dictatorships and authoritarian political systems where there is no objective criteria used to assess guilt, we would have to laugh at the sheer audacity of the Japanese ‘justice system’ and its pre-WW2 and WW2 character.

          Reply
        • Loverilakkuma says:

          So, are you saying that he shouldn’t deserve due process and fair trial in Japan because he’s a super rich CEO who only cares about his own interests?

          It’s nothing more than water under the bridge now, since he’s gone. He wouldn’t get bothered unless he makes a wrong choice by trying to sneak back into Japan someday.

          Reply
      • AnonymousOG says:

        True indeed Jim, true indeed. 🙂

        Just a tiny point of clarification, to differentiate between the 2 different master “baiters” trying to initiate illogical debate on this thread, who both are attempting to divert the discussion away from (and make excuses for) Japan’s illegal police actions and illegal prosecutor actions in this specific case and Japan’s inhumane “hostage” injustice jail-first-then-search-for-evidence-later / jail-until-forcing-a-false-confession (http://archive.is/Svj9m) system:

        “Owen Hughes” is the still-rose-colored glasses naive kid who tried to argue against Debito’s simple statement of fact that Japan commits harsher jurisprudence for NJs accused of crimes.
        https://www.debito.org/?p=15548&cpage=1#comment-1768560

        “Owen Hughes” also strangely tried to remove the photo of the Yunohana Japanese-Only sign from the historical record of the Otaru Onsens Case section.
        http://www.debito.org/?p=15590#comment-1732073

        “Owen Hughes” also claimed that hotels illegally threatening lodging-refusal with their written or verbal all-foreigners-must-show-ID-to-check-in policy “is not an actual problem facing foreign residents” since he supposedly easily successfully convinced 5 hotels to permanently end that policy.
        http://www.debito.org/?p=15785&cpage=1#comment-1757780

        “Owen Hughes” also claimed his easy successful hotel-policy-changes at those 5 hotels “never cost me more than five minutes.”
        http://www.debito.org/?p=15590#comment-1731781

        “Owen Hughes” also claimed those 5 previously-demanding-ID hotels were suddenly “quite happy to correct themselves on this particular point.”
        http://www.debito.org/?p=15863#comment-1766395

        “Owen Hughes” now strangely claims he cannot list those 5 hotels he stayed at because, get this, it supposedly would be a “violation of a client’s confidentiality agreement with my employer”.
        https://www.debito.org/?p=15548&cpage=1#comment-1768677

        WTF? Nobody requested his Client/employer name. What an illogical evasion. We just want the 5 HOTELS where he successfully ended the all-foreigners-must-show-ID-to-check-in policy.

        My conclusion is this site has given enough chances to the claimant “Owen Hughes” who refuses to admit the uncomfortable truth: the claimant probably did NOT successfully convince those 5 hotels to permanently end their illegal all-foreigners-must-show-ID-to-check-in policy, he instead probably showed his zairyuu-kaado to receive the key.

        TLDR: Hotels in Japan are STILL illegally threatening lodging-refusal with their illegal all-foreigners-must-show-ID-to-check-in policy and their illegal all-tourists-must-allow-copying-of-passports-to-check-in policy.

        By the way, that bold claimant chose to proudly post his sentences online, so he should proudly stand by what he has publicly written:
        http://archive.is/qlOou

        “Joshua Lawrence” on the other hand is a totally different person, we know exactly who he is.

        “Joshua Lawrence” is the tough guy brave world-traveling journalist who wrote “I challenge Debito and others to go to Beirut”.
        https://www.debito.org/?p=15548&cpage=1#comment-1768482

        “Joshua Lawrence” is the rude dude who wrote “This site has dedicated years to fighting racism in Japan. (but) Isn’t it racist to say that Ghosn is a hero because he realized that NJs are more competent than the Japanese he fired?”

        WTF? Debito did not say or even imply “NJs are more competent” thus “Joshua Lawrence” should be ashamed of having made that false accusation.

        In reality, Debito posted a link above to a Forbes article, with the correct summary of the Forbes article: “A former president of Nissan and Mitsubishi, Ghosn was a hero in many circles for saving the formerly struggling Japanese automakers and making them world players again.”

        “Joshua Lawrence” is the lock-him-up, jail-the-rich, by-any-means-necessary, even-BEFORE-having-evidence-of-a-specific-crime, even-if-the-initial-charge-got-dropped-later-due-to-not-being-an-actual-crime, guy who wrote “Nissan’s stock has lost 60 percent of its value in 6 years … If I worked for Nissan or owned stock … I would want prosecutors to … detain him …”
        https://www.debito.org/?p=15548&cpage=1#comment-1768653

        This braver than us journalist also chose to proudly post his sentences online (and even chose to earn money by being a public figure as a career), so he should proudly stand by what he has publicly written:
        http://archive.is/wMnhe

        He feels it is fine to call Ghosn a “crook” WITHOUT evidence or court conviction of the crime of thievery.
        https://www.debito.org/?p=15548&cpage=1#comment-1768653

        Well, I feel it is fine to call CJ a “liar” WITH evidence that he attempted to deceive the world into thinking he had a work visa when he tried to re-enter Japan, when the actual fact is: he didn’t.
        https://www.debito.org/?p=9868&cpage=2#comment-313008
        http://i.imgur.com/U5EDf.jpg
        https://www.debito.org/?p=9868&cpage=2#comment-307737
        https://www.debito.org/?p=9868&cpage=2#comment-308005

        Dear readers, this site points out the illegal acts being committed by Japan’s government, Japan’s government, Japan’s court system, Japan’s prosecutors, Japan’s police officers, Japan’s businesses, and Japan’s culture in general: so that worldwide humanity can be encouraged to apply legal pressure for Japan to uphold its United Nations treaties and Constitution and Laws.

        We encourage all readers to post here at Debito’s site any experiences of race-based discrimination in Japan, because this is a rare oasis where such experience sharing is accepted and understood.

        Those who want to deny Japan’s problems exist, or pretend the problems aren’t problems, or make illogical excuses for illegalities, they should go post elsewhere, in my opinion.

        Reply
        • “WTF? Nobody requested his Client/employer name. What an illogical evasion. We just want the 5 HOTELS where he successfully ended the all-foreigners-must-show-ID-to-check-in policy.”

          I work for a company that provides translation services to hotels (actually usually hotel chains rather than individual hotels—I apologize if I misled you on this particular matter). I do a number of those translations. When I see an error in the Japanese, such as the 外国人のお客様にあって thing, I point it out to the project coordinator, who conveys that to the client. I feel comfortable elaborating this much because all it means is that some of thdd 10,000+ accommodation facilities that have apparently copy-pasted that text are among my company’s clients.

          Your asking me for the names of such clients is grossly inappropriate, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with this thread: it comes across as having been posted solely to harass me. Ditto your putting the somewhat outrageous claim “deportation is not harsh” in my mouth: I said that for Americans and Europeans who know they will be deported if convicted of drug abuse and do so anyway it is not as harsh as a five-year jail sentence. (I have in mind a particular case of a JAFET who was arrested less than a year after arriving here and a Japanese citizen who was arrested at around the same time, but I’d rather not give further details for obvious reasons.)

          —- So in other words, you made a claim about your treatment as a customer of racially-profiling hotels that you never had any intention of substantiating. It was all a bluff. If called out, you were ready to pull out some surprise claim of client confidentiality.

          How disingenuous of you. And it speaks volumes about your honesty as a commenter to Debito.org.

          Okay. Drawing this thread to a close. Don’t feed the troll.

          Reply
        • Yes, I move would-be posters of comments denying problems exist or “It has never happened to me in Japan” should not be allowed to be posted in the first place. They arent useful and subvert any conversation into pointless semantics or deliberate red herrings.

          Reply
  • Joshua Lawrence says:

    I’m suggesting that, within an overall system of discrimination against NJs (which Debito has documented), there’s at least three levels of enforcement. One for lower caste NJs (from Nepal, Ghana, Sri Lanka etc), another for middle class NJs (journos, technocrats, eigo no sensei from NZ, UK, US etc), and another for wealthy CEO-level NJs with all the perks and clout of the 1 percent (private jets, multiple homes and passports, armies of PR flacks etc).

    If Mr. NJ CEO wasn’t worth $120 million, and didn’t have a meishi saying “CEO of world’s largest automaker”, do you think J authorities would have given him the relatively luxury of renting a spacious house while awaiting trial? No way.

    He didn’t even have to wear an ankle bracelet like a certain Chinese CEO in Vancouver. He wasn’t strapped to a chair and interrogated under bright lights or forced to sleep on the floor with the window open in winter like NJ prisoners in China (including CEOs). Mr. NJ CEO in Japan was reportedly allowed to go out to eat croissant at a neighborhood cafe. He even reportedly got a second French passport, which apparently came in handy. (He could discuss movie plans with a Hollywood producer?) He could somehow leave his house (without police watching him?) and spend all that time to get to an airport, without any alarm bells going off at all borders nationwide?

    Imagine the Chinese CEO trying to escape her house arrest conditions in Vancouver? Police (who track her by her ankle bracelet) would nab her within minutes.

    How many innocent NJs from Nepal, Ghana, Philippines, Bangladesh etc… ever got such treatment? Ask them. They’ll tell you that this is where the real systemic discrimination lies in Japan.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Stanford Business School Carlos Ghosn Interview 2014
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r2gZ_23z92o

    Readers can make their own judgements, but in this interview, he says on almost the first day he arrived at Nissan, he was told a long list of “things you can’t do in Japan. You can’t change the keiretsu system, you can’t close any plants, you can’t promote younger workers over older ones, and so on.” He said ” I thought if I can’t do any of those things, I might as well go home today. ” He then goes on to explain how he accomplished doing those very things, hence saving the company.

    I still maintain that doing the things he readily admits he set out to do is why he was arrested.

    Reply
  • Joshua Lawrence says:

    Here we are, fighting for the rights of the little guys up against the unfair, discriminatory, archaic justice system of Japan. Meanwhile, super-rich CEOs like Mr. NJ, who have no clue how little guys live in Japan, have the privilege of knowing people such as “private security contractors” who can arrange for private jets to smuggle people across borders.

    You mean I only have to lose $14 million in bail money? No big deal. I’ll earn that back on the book and movie deal.

    https://www.arabnews.jp/en/japan/article_8042/

    I know for a fact (based on experience) that celebrities, diplomats and VIPs go through a much easier immigrations and customs process at airports in Japan and other countries than the regular working folk (such as NJs on this site). The public has no idea how these privileged people live on a separate planet than the rest of us. Borders are for everybody else, not them. Yet they also protect themselves behind security perimeters. If a protester or journo tries to sneak into Mr. NJ CEO’s palace on Beirut (the way he snuck out of Japan), they’ll be shot on sight.

    As much as we criticize the J justice system, shouldn’t NJs be cheering them in this case? They are going after super-rich crooks who casually think they are above the law, because they are accustomed to getting away with it. We should grant them the strongest tools possible to go after this “untouchable” caste who gain obscene wealth and privilege from exploitation and subjugation of lesser beings.

    Reply
  • Josh Lawrence says:

    If these multiple reports are accurate, then it appears that Mr. NJ CEO (who maintains his innocence) at least had knowledge and access to a network of criminals who specialize in falsifying documents, stealing aircraft (misusing jets for illegal purposes), and human trafficking (smuggling people over borders). Given his proven ability to break laws and deceive authorities and companies in Japan and Turkey, do we really think he wasn’t plundering Nissan or involved in other crimes worldwide?

    He’s reportedly staying in a Beirut house owned by Nissan. Nissan has reportedly been trying to evict him since 2018, according to Nikkei.

    Buddy, you’re worth $120 million. Get your own goddam house.

    NJs like this make it worse for every other NJ in Japan. NJs like us should take a strong stand against corrupt, crooked NJs who deceive us and abuse their special status in Japan. Mr. NJ CEO clearly tried to dupe the FCCJ, authorities and others in Japan. We shouldn’t tolerate that. I really hope Japan gets him and throws the book at him.

    https://japantoday.com/category/crime/turkish-jet-firm-says-employee-falsified-ghosn-records

    — You really are fighting hard to get Ghosn. Is Debito.org that important a site to you that you need to work so hard resetting the narrative?

    Reply
    • AnonymousOG says:

      CJ writes: “As much as we criticize the J justice system, shouldn’t NJs be cheering them in this case?”

      I answer: No, we should not cheer illegally-acting prosecutors or illegally-acting police officers, even when we despise the arrested.

      CJ writes: “[Japan’s police] are going after super-rich crooks who casually think they are above the law, because [the super-rich crooks] are accustomed to getting away with it.”

      I answer: The prosecutors and police officers should be going after all suspects the LEGAL way, which is FIRST they must collect sufficient evidence about an actual crime, THEN they must present that evidence to a judge to request a search warrant and/or an arrest warrant, THEN they can make legal arrests which the world can’t complain about.

      The technique Japan used this time was undeniably illegal: first they jailed someone for a non-crime charge, proven by the fact they eventually had to drop that charge.

      That’s false arrest, which is called shokken ranyou and each police officer involved faces 10 years prison for that according to the (disobeyed with impunity) police laws of Japan.

      Thus the evidence forcibly collected during and after the initial false arrest is legally unusable in court and invalidates any subsequent charges which were based on the illegally-collected evidence.

      See, regardless of whether this guy is guilty or not (and I agree that ANY multi-millionaire is probably guilty of many crimes) it is Japan’s prosecutors and Japan’s police officers who are accustomed to getting away with such illegal arrests.

      CJ writes: “We should grant them the strongest tools possible to go after this ‘untouchable’ caste who gain obscene wealth and privilege from exploitation and subjugation of lesser beings.”

      I answer: Actually, Japan’s prosecutors and Japan’s police officers already HAVE been granted by the legislature of Japan the strongest “tools” possible to go after suspects (simply mentally insert here all the inhumane hostage techniques which Japan law currently grants them, like holding without charging for a month, not allowing lawyers to be present during interrogation, not allowing lawyers to see the supposed evidence, etc.) and yet they STILL violate with impunity these overly-strong police-law court-law “tools”.

      CJ, fellow human, you have repeatedly implied you don’t really care about whether the police used legal techniques to arrest and search this particular suspect, since he is PROBABLY guilty of white-collar crime, so it was OK to simply FIRST arrest+search+interrogate+jail for months THEN build a case, right?

      That’s exactly what racists in Japan say about Non-Japanese suspects: “We don’t care about whether the police use legal techniques to arrest and search Non-Japanese suspects: since they are PROBABLY guilty of overstay/drugs/violence/thievery crime, so it is OK to simply FIRST arrest+search+interrogate+jail for months THEN build a case,

      CJ brother, I totally feel you about the rich, I too have the desire for the poorest 99% to simply round up all the richest 1% and forcefully grab their no-doubt illegally-obtained assets and redistribute equally to the whole world, absolutely. That’s a fantasy of mine too.

      But back to reality, we gotta’ insist the prosecutors and the police officers (in Japan, and everywhere) must obey the laws which require actual-evidence-of-an actual-crime first before making any arrests. The law enforcers must obey the laws.

      What we are doing here on this page is criticizing the law enforcers for their violation of the laws of Japan, and we are also pointing out that many of the laws in Japan don’t even meet developed-world laws thus must be improved.

      This is a rare chance for us, because usually when there is a Non-Japanese victim of Japanese police illegalities the world isn’t watching. This time, the world is watching this case, and even reading this Human Rights in Japan site right now.

      I fully admit that this particular suspect is a rich 1%er who is PROBABLY guilty of some crimes and thus is NOT a perfect poster example of a victim.

      CJ, putting the probable guilt of this suspect aside for the moment, can you admit that Japan did indeed break some of its own laws during the initial jailing and searching of this particular suspect?

      Even a guilty suspect becomes a literal victim of injustice when prosecutors and police officers commit illegal arrests and illegal searches, right?

      And again, putting his probable guilt aside for the moment, can you admit that Japan’s laws (about police officers’ hostage-interrogation actions, and about businesses’ racial-discrimination actions) need to be improved to match the developed-world?

      Those are rhetorical questions, no need to reply. Surely we both have posted enough on this thread. You wrote 10 comments, I wrote 7 comments. We have both made our current stances clear here, about the probable-crook Ghosn, and about the definitely-illegally-acting police+prosecutors of Japan. So I won’t post further on this page.

      But hey brother, if you eventually decide to admit (here, or on your GlobaliteMagazine site, or in your journalism articles elsewhere) the fact that Japan did indeed break some of its own laws during the initial jailing and searching of this particular suspect, and/or the fact that Japan’s laws (about police officers’ hostage-interrogation actions, about businesses’ racial-discrimination actions, etc.) need to be improved to match the developed-world, that would be great, and that would show you truly learned something from all the information on this page specifically and on this site in general, altruistically written by Debito and many fellow human contributors here who are indeed very concerned about justice in Japan, just like you. 🙂

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        Oh, hang on, is this the same CJ who kicked up a stink when he was detained at Narita airport? Wrote a load of articles about ‘gaijin gulags’ and Japanese airports employing people who seemed (to him) to be ‘North Koreans’ with ‘guns’?
        THAT CJ?
        Now he’s supporting the prospect of detaining Carlos for two years without trial and restricted family contact in a system with a 99% conviction rate that Japanese CEO’s and politicians evade with a bow and a couple of months reduction in salary?
        That’s CJ?
        He should know better considering all the screaming to the rooftops he did and all the support he got initially from the NJ community.
        SMH.

        Reply

Comment navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>