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Former Nissan chairman Ghosn flees Japan who is embarrassed

来源:中国经济网—《经济日报》 本报驻东京记者苏海河 January 03, 2020, 07:30 Source: China Economic Net- Su Haihe, a reporter for the Economic Daily newspaper in Tokyo

In the movie "Hunting" starring the famous Japanese movie star Takakura Ken, Du Qiu fought with the police and fought bravely, avoiding the hunt again and again, found out the true culprit who framed himself, and returned his innocence. Similar is the American movie "The Great Escape", and there is also the "Trojan Horse" in the Greek story. In the last days of 2019, these three stories were "staged" in Japan. The news that Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor Co., broke through bail conditions and customs restrictions in a Japanese court and successfully fled Japan to Lebanon. The news made Japan fry.

Hidden in the sky

At noon on December 31, 2019, Tokyo time, Ghosn issued a statement through his U.S. press agent, saying: "He is now in Lebanon and is no longer a predictable guilty body under Japan's biased judicial system."

Tokyo District Court agreed to Ghosn's bail twice in March and April 2019, but attached very strict conditions. The Japan Immigration Office stated that Ghosn had no record of leaving the country and therefore determined that he had left Japan by illegal means. The Japanese court cancelled the bail decision on Ghosn on the same day, demanding that his arrest be brought to justice. The Japanese government has negotiated with the Lebanese government on extradition through diplomatic channels.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism information, a private plane flew from Kansai International Airport to Istanbul on the night of December 29, 2019. The plane flew to Lebanon after stopping in Turkey. There are reports that Mrs. Ghosn entered Lebanon on the same plane, while Japanese media said her wife might be the director of the escape. Lebanese security authorities issued a message through the state-run news agency that Ghosn had entered with a French passport and a Lebanese resident card, and that the country "has no legal reason to bar him from entering."

It is reported that Ghosn fled his monitored residence on Christmas Day. During the day he also met with Japanese lawyers to discuss details of how to deal with the court debate after the new year. That night he hosted a Christmas dinner and arranged for the band to cheer. Ghosn left the residence hidden in a musical instrument box.

Nissan Renault performs poorly

Ghosn was once known as the "savior" and "god of business" of Nissan. In 1999, Nissan, which has been losing money for 7 consecutive years and had a debt of 2 trillion yen, received Renault's US $ 5.4 billion injection. Since then, Renault-Nissan Business Alliance was formed, which is also the first case in which the national brand of the Japanese automobile industry was merged into transnational operations.

After Ghosn became the top manager of Nissan Motors, he implemented a series of bold measures to make Nissan Motor Company turn a profit in two years. In 2003, he became chairman and CEO. In 2005, Ghosn also served as Chairman of Renault. In 2016, he led the capital injection of Mitsubishi Motors and concurrently served as Chairman of Mitsubishi, forming the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which ranked first in the world in car sales in the first half of 2018.

However, on November 19, 2018, Ghosn was arrested by the Japanese police on suspicion of violating the Financial Commodities Trading Law and deliberately underreporting personal income. The Tokyo Public Prosecutor's Office accused Ghosn of concealing more than 5 billion yen in personal income between 2010 and 2014. In addition, he was also suspected of malfeasance such as transferring investment funds and misappropriating company funds under the pretence of investment purposes.

Ghosn's escape once again pushed Nissan and Renault to the forefront. Nissan has changed CEO twice in the year following the Ghosn scandal. The successor president who actively cooperated with the Procuratorate in investigating Ghosn's illegal cases was once regarded by the Japanese media as a hero in the maintenance of national enterprises. However, after he took charge of the company, he was exposed that he violated the company's internal procedures and obtained additional rights through a stock appreciation plan The 47 million yen income caused significant economic losses to the company and forced it to step down. Immediately afterwards, the company appointed Makoto Uchida, the vice president and president of Dongfeng Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., who had been in charge of overseas operations, as president and CEO.

However, over the past year, Renault and Nissan Motors suffered declines due to management confusion. The stocks of the two companies fell 28% and 23% respectively, making them the world's worst-performing major automakers. At the same time, the two companies' new cooperation projects have made no progress.

May shake the justice system

After Ghosn fled Japan, the world's major media reported one after another, saying that it was a big drama at the end of 2019 in Japan. The escape stunned the Japanese legal community. A former prosecutor said the incident "could shake Japan's judicial system." Especially in recent years, the gradual relaxation of the bail system will be tightened again. According to the statistics of the Japanese Supreme Court, the number of persons who were awarded bail by the district court before the first instance increased from 14% in 2008 to 32% in 2018. Especially since the jury system of national participation in criminal cases was introduced in 2009, the number of long-term detainees has decreased significantly. But the number of fugitives on bail began to increase, from 102 in 2008 to 258 in 2018. Some experts predict that bail conditions approved by Japanese courts will be more stringent in the future.

Since there is no extradition agreement between Japan and Lebanon, Ghosn's extradition issue may also become a new diplomatic issue for Japan. (Su Haihe, correspondent for the Economic Daily in Tokyo)

(Responsible editor: Liu Peng)

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Former Nissan chairman Ghosn flees Japan who is embarrassed

来源:中国经济网—《经济日报》 2020-01-03 07:30 Source: China Economic Net- "Economic Daily"
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