Photo: REUTERS file
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Japanese gov't backs Nissan CEO Saikawa's resignation

28 Comments

The Japanese government on Tuesday supported Nissan Motor Co CEO Hiroto Saikawa's decision to resign for accepting millions of yen in extra remuneration, saying it shows the carmaker's new corporate oversight reforms are functioning.

"The resignation proves that corporate governance is working," economy minister Hiroshige Seko told a press conference, referring to measures implemented by Nissan management in June after the arrest of the company's former boss Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct.

"We have also been involved in supporting (Nissan's) implementation of corporate governance (measures)," Seko said. The changes introduced by Nissan included installing a new board with a majority of outside directors.

Seko said earlier that his ministry was watching closely the governance reform process as, despite Ghosn denying all allegations of misconduct, the incident has damaged trust in corporate governance in Japan as a whole.

Saikawa said Monday he agreed to a proposal from the company board that he step aside on Sept. 16 after an in-house probe found he was overpaid by roughly 47 million yen ($438,000) through an equity-linked remuneration scheme in 2013.

Although not illegal, the investigation report concluded that it was a "grave" governance issue. Saikawa assumed the post of CEO in April 2017 and served as a close lieutenant of Ghosn.

"I hope that (Saikawa's) successor will be chosen with the company's corporate governance functioning, mainly by the nomination committee, and not through in-house power struggle as has been the case in the past," Seko said.

Nissan said Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi will serve as acting CEO until the company names Saikawa's successor before the end of October.

The Japanese government has been in close contact with the French government, the biggest shareholder in Renault SA, Nissan's alliance partner for two decades.

Since Ghosn's arrest, leaders of the two governments have repeatedly confirmed they support efforts by the Renault-Nissan alliance to remain competitive in the fast-changing auto industry.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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Why doesn't the Japanese government insist on Saikawa's arrest and a criminal probe of his actions? It couldn't be because he's Japanese, could it?

16 ( +19 / -3 )

And why is the government even commenting on a company private company. Could be because the justice system is being further called into question best to have Salkawa quietly disappear then arrested.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

No one should be surprised that the government is commenting on this issue. It's not uncommon, considering that the government here actually "owns" through stocks, in a number of major "private" corporations, that used to be be government controlled, here in Japan, and how another major corporation runs it's businesses affects theirs as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, it would seem that, in Japan, company executives can escape prosecution for fraudulent activity by resigning. How wonderful for them.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The resignation proves that corporate governance is working

Laugh of the day.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The resignation proves that corporate governance is working

That's a great relief. And here I thought something was wrong....

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"The resignation proves that corporate governance is working," economy minister Hiroshige Seko told a press conference,

Bah hah hah! If it really were working, he'd be hauled off to jail like Ghosn. But since he's Japanese....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Double standards but unfortunately it comes as no surprise

9 ( +11 / -2 )

What a clown show!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What this proves is many, if not all the execs there were at it but as Ghosn was the CEO at the time he's the sacrificial lamb, which goes with the territory.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is it really up to the Japanese government to approve what happens in a private company?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Although not illegal, the investigation report concluded that it was a "grave" governance issue.

Not illegal yet grave offence.

Am I missing something?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Seko said earlier that his ministry was watching closely the governance reform process as, despite Ghosn denying all allegations of misconduct, the incident has damaged trust in corporate governance in Japan as a whole.

Seko sorry to break it to you bro BUT J-governance has been known to be a JOKE since the late 80s & this BS at NISSAN proves governance is STILL NOT functioning properly!!

Nothing to do with Ghosn, and don't think we didn't notice you seem like you are going to let YOUR boy quietly retire AFTER HE conspired with the J-govt to lure Ghosn & Kelly to Japan in a TRAP you BOTH SET!!!

Scary stuff!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

GW that's an uncomfortable truth.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Although not illegal, the investigation report concluded that it was a "grave" governance issue.

The thing that confuses me about this is that they have defined his actions as tax evasion and embezzlement. Not just him, but multiple members. But they are not illegal. When you purposely take more money than you are supposed to it is called embezzlement. When you purposely fail to divulge your true income or try to hide your actual income through other means this is defrauding the government and is considered tax evasion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is it really up to the Japanese government to approve what happens in a private company?

If the government wants to make itself look useful, they should really be launching an investigation into the prosecutors office, and studying law reform.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of course they back it.... they also colluded with Nissan when Ghosn was arrested. So they have to try to go after Saikawa just to make things appear fair. Appearances are important in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

At last, be it whatever but saikawa deserved, what he got in the process, now he is famous for being the man that caused the good Japanese nation to reel in international laws of unfair management laws. A back-stabbing incompetent and with mean heart person cannot be the c.e.o or whatever tittle in a company big or small. A tittle on a name card does not mean anything unless the person is of minimal standards of a human being that really had done the real work with true heart. Back stabbing to cause pain is the first sign of a non-working person with too much time on his hands because the rest of the real people are working. Now the 1st part of justice had been served.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why would the Japanese government have any say in the leadership decision of a private company? It's not as if they want to merge with Renault or something...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Not illegal yet grave offence. Am I missing something?" Yeah, it's called the old double standard, one set of rules for the home team, another for the away team... or maybe uchi/soto, or tatemae/honne, or...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The laws of Japan must change. Saikawa must be detained immediately, if the Japanese govt want to show that working with Japan inc have fair terms , born Japanese so what ???. good Japanese is always abt moral, integrity and fairness. In this case, if saikawa just go free, it prove that the Japanese people in Japan are of low moral, low integrity and only money minded. With the principle of good human beings, in Japan as I know them for 32 years, it will be viewed internally in Japan & internationally as japan is low in everything and not global minded as Japan wants to sell. Sparing saikawa with just a resignation, puts the Japanese in very bad light and the new prosecutor in very very bad negative light. Now the government and Nissan have a choice.have saikawa prosecuted or live forever in the local public and gobal negative light. The choice is now yrs, no lip service will work in this case. time is ticking. The world is watching u.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chip Star; Why doesn't the Japanese government insist on Saikawa's arrest and a criminal probe of his actions? It couldn't be because he's Japanese, could it?

The Police will arrest if they found Saikawa has stolen and misused the Company fund or he committed crimes. Currently, Saikawa is doing nothing wrong. The remuneration scheme was created by former boss Carlos Ghosn and his lieutenant Greg Kelly.

The person responsible for the Carlos Gohsn downfall was not Sikawa. It was whistleblower Hari Nada a longtime executive in the legal department and former loyalist of Carlos Gohsn. You think Saikawa was the person responsible for the Carlos Gohsn arrest. So you hate Saikawa. You think Saikawa should be arrested, but what for. You cannot arrest and punish people without proof he has committed the crime.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Although not illegal, the investigation report concluded that it was a "grave" governance issue.

What about "aggravated breach of trust"? Same as what they charged Ghosn.

The resignation proves that corporate governance is working

Really? That fast?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny thing he retires as president and is given a different position within Nissan still guess that part was left....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a two-face character!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Snake hes Japanese so he gets a get out of jail free card..disgusting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of comment's about here about why Saikawa wasn't arrested. Maybe, as the article clearly stipulates, that while his arrogant and greedy actions were dispicable they are not illegal. Apparently he has not fully graduated from the Ghosn School of Thievery yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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