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Ghosn case rattles Japan's expat business community

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By Anne Beade and Hiroshi Hiyama

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No need to tell me how to feel or what to think. I think everyone knows that in Japan you will be discriminated if you are different.

Its quite obvious that heads of other companies who have done worse than Ghosn (is being accused of) get off with no investigation and simply have to bow and mutter a few lines.

I don’t even need to name companies do I? Everyone knows this.

I’m Japanese, was born here, but mixed blood and so I look western to most.

There is no doubt you are and will be judged from a different pedestal and held more accountable, and be prejudiced against simply because people fear what they don’t understand. Most have been told by their parents, teachers, and TV their whole lives that Japanese are different, special, and literally ethnically, morally, and culturally superior.

52 ( +56 / -4 )

I think I’m jaded. I always knew this was how it is in Japan. So I don’t think I’m as shocked as everyone else. Just as disgusted though. Spending months in jail without being found guilty of a crime is a travesty of a legal system.

49 ( +52 / -3 )

The foreign business community has every right to be concerned about this.

The Japanese for all their good points can back-stab with the best of them,

45 ( +46 / -1 )

"This is a specific case," said Seiji Nakata, head of Daiwa Securities. "I am in contact with foreign bosses and they have not voiced any pessimism on the subject".

This guy obviously does not get it either! You think that a "foreign boss" here in Japan is going to openly discuss this issue directly to a JAPANESE corporate head?

"Hey Mr. Nakata, you see this problem with Ghosen, I just need to talk to you about MY situation, I am unsure what would happen if it was me........"

Nakata: "Let's get together and talk about it!" (Nakata clicks off, looks up another number dials and....)

"Suzuki sama, Nakata desu...." "Your "gaijin" boss looks kind of fishy here, I think something needs to be done!"

Suzuki san....(bowing deeply to the cell phone) "Thank you Nakata sama, Thank you"

Next day, "foreign boss" is being led out the door by Japanese police!

37 ( +40 / -3 )

when I was stalked hit by car from behind kicked in head by Japanese driver as hard as he could like a soccer ball he later confessed in front of Japanese witnesses Meguro police didn't even detain him overnight, prosecutor didn't contact me or my doctors didn't inform me a hearing was scheduled the entire case was conducted in secret. I spent years and a lot of money suing in court and experienced more of same jingoism and indifference all the way to Tokyo High Court. Court ordered me to pay guilty assailants court fees. Authorities are unaccountable.

35 ( +36 / -1 )

This is disgusting on si many levels. Ghosn is being railroaded by what the Japanese consider to be a system of justice whilst being given certain special treatment because he's rich AF.

How many other detainees sleep on a bed at night?

Stay strong, Ghosn. Make the prosecutors actually do their job and don't give them a confession.

99% conviction rates means not all criminals are being prosecuted and that confessions are being forced. There is nothing just about it.

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Yup! None of the Toshiba corrupts, nor the people responsible for all thr biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl ever saw any jail time. Same with proven rapists and proven (by witnesses, confessing and evidence) murderers. But a foreigner is suspected of not reporting his salary and let's keep him in jail without proof and without access for his family to see him for an undefined time. And let's treat him worse than real criminals (that I mentioned above).

30 ( +31 / -1 )

For what its worth, I know of this quite well.

A number of years ago, when I was a senior exec at a firm in Tokyo, one of our staff members, a non-Japanese, was arrested by the police. This gentleman had recently married a lovely Japanese woman and it seems that his ex-GF, also Japanese, decided to ruin his life.

So, she went to the police and accused him of a crime. She had no evidence, there was no evidence, but they proceeded to arrest him, search his residence and turn his life upside down.

He was subjected to this exact situation. He was detained and could have no visitors except a lawyer. We got him a lawyer, but his detention was repeatedly extended, while the police / prosecutors attempted to a coerce a confession from him. Finally, our lawyer was finally able to secure his release, but on one condition. That he must leave Japan within 30 days or he would be re-arrested. And that he should not ever live in Japan again.

And that is what happened. He returned to his home country, along with his Japanese wife, and we used our network to find him a great job. He is there today, having never returned to Japan. His wife was so disgusted by the experience that she took on citizenship in his home country and renounced her Japanese citizenship.

THAT is what the Japanese justice system can do. And before anyone says it, yes, I know of similar travesties in other countries. But we aren't talking about them. We are talking about Japan and what the Ghosn case has highlighted.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

Japanese morally superior?!?!?! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

28 ( +29 / -1 )

"Most have been told by their parents, teachers, and TV their whole lives that Japanese are different, special, and literally ethnically, morally, and culturally superior." 

That sounds a lot like the mentality of another country during World War II. It still is surprising to see countries like Japan still teaching this kind of rhetoric in the modern age.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Interesting. I just got an email from a client of mine - a foreign executive in a 外資系 (foreign company doing business in Japan). He just informed me he's heading back to America. He's been frustrated with some things about Japan for a while, but this he said is the straw that broke the camel's back. He's not willing to live and work in a country where he has to live with the potential worry of being jailed indefinitely based purely on accusations.

I wonder if there will be any kind of noticeable shift within the expat community based on this.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

This case has put a shot across the bow of the Japanese judicial system for sure its exposed it for what it really is, but will it alter or change? I doubt it.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I agree with posters that it is primarily the system that is broken and many japanese citizens have suffered as well.

However in the high profile cases mentioned, the long detentions have been buoyed by the defendants being seen as "enemies" of the Govt or Big Inc.

Horie dared to challenge The Establishment; Suzuki was conducting "international affairs with the Russians on his own"; The Kagoike couple of Moritomo School scandal, as potential bean spillers, were seen as a direct threat to Abe & Nippon Kaigi. The list goes on and on.

Many, many of the big boys & girls who were/are seen to be "against the grain de-stabilizing forces" are literally impounded.

Toshiba, Olympus etc etc elites were "only working for the good of Inc", hence not subject to the same rules.

Ghosn has certainly upset Inc and it's "martial" connections.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Rattled?? YA THINK!!!

I KNOW!

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Any of us that have lived here a long time are not at all surprised by this, but, nevertheless, it is breathtaking to see it on display with such a high profile foreign executive.

The starting place is that we know that the system is heavily weighted against the accused when it is a criminal case. The system is rigged in favor of the police and the prosecutors and they have fought aggressively to keep it that way over the years, despite all of the evidence about how the process is abused.

And that doesn't even mention the bias against foreigners when it comes to the law. Anyone that has been involved in a traffic incident in Japan involving a foreigner and a Japanese knows how it plays out.

The cases that are raised about the treatment Japanese defendants have also received are a complete red herring. Here is why: the system is designed to protect those in power / in favor and can be weaponized to go after those that the State wants to go after.

It is a two-tier justice system with the frightening power to ruin the lives of innocent people unnecessary.

Does anyone recall the man in Matsumoto whose life was ruined because police and prosecutors believed he was responsible for the sarin gas attack there.... until they realized it was Aum?! His life was destroyed.

It is a disgrace!!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

'Ghosn's case has also highlighted how the Japanese system differs from Western business norms, said corporate compliance lawyer Nobuo Gohara, also a former Tokyo prosecutor.'

"Mr Ghosn's case has shone a strong spotlight on the opaqueness of Japan's prosecution system," said Martin Schulz, economist at the Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo. "

'Many in Japan have voiced surprise that foreigners have criticized their legal system and prosecutors have reacted angrily, saying they are playing by the rules in place.

"It gives the impression of double standards, as if Ghosn was being treated this way because he is a foreigner. I do not see how they are going to attract qualified foreigners,"

I have news.  

the distinction between the business community and the academic community is no longer so cut and dry … 

The concern about opaqueness, social norms, double standards, and attracting qualified experts is an old story, and not limited to the expat business community, but also to the academic community.  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/05/14/commentary/japan-commentary/japans-universities-struggling-corporate-status/#.XDfhfC2B0Wo

*'Most researchers agree that international faculty are an asset to their host countries. Many studies in the United States have found that international faculty are more academically productive than their local counterparts, especially in the hard sciences. But this is not the case in Japan.’ — *https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/japan-weighs-the-value-of-imported-academics

Some of you may remember the LDP’s plan to attract top international talent to make Japanese Universities competitive even with Asian counterparts, much less Western counterparts. 

That didn’t work out so well, did it?

I can not name a single 'world class' researcher in the STEM fields working at a Japanese University, much less the social sciences and humanities … which the LDP tried to eliminate from National Universities just a few years ago … https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/08/23/commentary/japan-commentary/humanities-attack/#.XDfkPi2B0Wo

At lest I have the satisfaction of seeing my previous school in a JopanToday article just yesterday, https://japantoday.com/category/national/japanese-student-rejects-apology-over-university-sex-listing and on further research, reported in international news in Great Britain and the United States. 

My former school was ranked number one by Spa! magazine. 4 years ago, I resigned in protest due the school’s racist/nationalist policies, yet this is the school that has protested most loudly in a letter on its home page against the article, claiming the school's ideals represent 'diversity'.

After I resigned, the school did not hire another tenured foreigner. Currently, neither of the two English departments even have a full-timed non-Japanese faculty member, much less one with tenure.

And if JapanToday or the reader of this post thinks discrimination between women and foreigners is fundamentally different, you have not experienced discrimination.

From these eyes, Ghosn’s case is simply a higher profile of what has been going on in academia for years.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

As another long termer here, I have to second what Strangerland said

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Japanese courts are very weird to outsiders on any occasion, but I will agree that this does not happen to Japanese executives of such large companies maybe.. 8/10 times.

So yeah seems to be a race thing. Maybe not Only race, but a bid to avoid being eaten up by France's car company, which, considering that in sales Nissan eats Renault for breakfast, but then add to that a Brazilian born company leader.

What I find more amusing is that Japan owes a lot of its success on white people or westerners in general, it wouldn't been diddly squat in WW2 if it wasn't for the west forcing it open and selling them arms and teaching them how to build weapons.

Considering Japan not really having any valuable resources, its economy would also only be a fraction of what it is if it wasn't for western consumption. (Yes, I know Japan has a lot of its Best food and niceties in Asia), but expensive stuff.. Nintendo, Sony, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, check their sales and the West accounts for most of it.

Japan is a populous, rich and highly advanced country, but they still.. In the long run (especially without nuclear weapons as a deterrent) stand much of a chance against China, but the U.S is there for them, and with the U.S, arguably Europe (Nato).

So for Japan to treat people from countries who have done so much for them tells me, NO. Japanese are not superior, if anything you are INFERIOR because of your deceiving ways, seems to me the lot of us are still very stupid despite our intelligence and progresses.

France should have balled up and told Japan that if they don't give Ghosn a fair chance to defend himself, then Japan would not be welcome in Europe, that'd make Tokyo sing a different tune really freaking fast. But no, France and their White proud flag.

Also before you point me out as a "racist", I am 100% Japanese living in Europe and NO ONE here treats me like crap.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

As an expat and executive, I am very concerned about the growing Japanese jackboot reminiscent of Japan in the 1930s. Welcome to the Japanese Gulag. Solzhenitsyn wrote about the same thing in the Gulag Archipelago and Cancer Ward. Ghosn is a French and Brazilian citizen. France and Brazil are betraying their citizens by not insisting that Ghosn be released from jail. As feckless as the US Government has been regarding Kelly at least they exerted enough pressure to have Kelly released on bail for medical treatment. The guy from Daiwa Securities is clueless-- HK and Singapore are better options.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Ghosn case rattles Japan's expat business community - but not enough to do anything like have daily protests outside his detention center or the court in Kasumigaski. I learned this from my own experience while expats may voice empathy they won't lift a finger, won't protest, won't attend court sessions. US Embassy consul Peter Barlerin informed they can't intervene in private cases, then few years later Ambassador Caroline Kennedy personally intervened to get convicted drug smuggler Toyota exec Julie Hamp released from jail and sent back to USA. Go figure. sad but true.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Seiji Nakata, head of Daiwa Securities. "I am in contact with foreign bosses and they have not voiced any pessimism on the subject".

Because, Nakatta old chum, the last person we're going to open up to, is a Japanese executive!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Spending months in jail without being found guilty of a crime is a travesty of a legal system.

This. And not just spending time in jail. He can only meet his lawyers, is only given bland food, he is being treated worse than an animal. Need. More. International. Outrage.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

France and Brazil are betraying their citizens by not insisting that Ghosn be released from jail.

i was wondering the same thing, why aren't the French and Brazilians going after Japan on this?, there should be more public outrage. Japan is getting away with serious human rights abuses and awful behaviour. Ghosn has been kidnapped by the police, still no charges and all based on flimsy evidence..

I just wish someone with clout would come out and publicly denounce Japan for this disgrace.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan's opaque and draconian legal system has alarmed foreign executives and sparked questions over the country's ability to attract overseas talent.

Combine this with the governmental corruption, which goes virtually unpunished and you can see Japan burning in its own caldron of draconian laws and corruption in the future.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

They know who butters their bread... but the most disturbing aspect is probably this:

"Many in Japan have voiced surprise that foreigners have criticized their legal system and prosecutors have reacted angrily, saying they are playing by the rules in place...", implying that no foreign criticism is legitimate. The uchi/soto island-nation tribal mentality is clearly still the dominant aspect of Japan's worldview.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Frustration is born out of a love of Japan. I really wish it was heading towards a more prosperous future, but with the way the demographic cliff is approaching with oyaji & Japan Inc. at the helm, I can't see anything but it sailing off into the abyss.

This I hope is a wake up call for change. Maybe one day, a new generation can save it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Strangerland

Are you both culturally and ethnically Japanese?

Both of my parents are Japanese, I moved to Norway in 2008 to study (exchange student), fell in love with a Norwegian and decided to stay.

My point is this; Japan caused enormous pain in WW2, yet the west forgave Japan, bought its goods and now even defending it.

The least Japan can do is give this man a Fair trial, the Same trial it would give an ethnic Japanese CO.

The Europeans I have met treat me with respect, are kind, some may be bigoted (older gens not used to see Asians), but they're not Mean.

I do not celebrate Christmas the same way you do, nor do I honestly care much for Norway's national day, etc, but I still respect it, I appreciate Norway for letting me stay, I pay my taxes, I work and give back to Norway for taking care of me and I am proud to say, I am born in Japan but I am a Norwegian citizen.

So long story short; Japan should take care of those whom clearly take care of Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

It's a travesty of a legal system, but I can't say I see it as being particularly biased against Ghosn for being a foreigner.

Strangerland,

You are correct of course, BUT, there are many cases where courts ARE used to take people OUT so to speak. mentioned above

Horie/Livedoor   he was an unstart & Japan Inc had him TAKEN OUT

Muneo Suzuki    an LDP in high standing until he caused trouble, THEN a $$ scandal took him OUT

An yeah the guy in Matsumoto who got blamed for sarin gas was beyond the pale

Bottom line in the system here is without question truly BARBARIC, anyone can be destroyed here Japanese or foreigner, meanwhile many who REALLY should be on trial & jailed have a stack of get out of jail cards to last a lifetime!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There's the whole medieval J-legal system thing here, but the other side of the story is the total lack of loyalty from fellow co-workers. I learned early on in my J-career to be extremely wary of those I work with.

Had one incident where someone I thought I was on very friendly terms with ended up stabbing me in the back. Ever since then, I keep most of my co-workers at a double arm's length.

And that's one thing I warn newbies about, be very careful about what you say and do. Especially at events where alcohol is loosening the lips. Japanese love for you--encourage you--to slip up and reveal too much. Most of the time it's just harmless fun, having a good time with very decent people, but...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It doesn't matter what Ghosn may have done, he is not getting due process and that disgusts me.

As a country with few natural resources, Japan can only compete internationally based on knowledge. As a country with an ageing, shrinking, and increasingly impoverished population, Japan cannot rely on its internal market for future wealth. Japan therefore needs to be internationally competitive and it is naive to think that the brainpower needed to satisfy global customers with high-end, knowledge-based goods and services can be supplied solely from within.

This case, even more than the Olympus one, is a huge red flag to any experienced non-Japanese executive thinking of coming to Japan. The message this sends is that the country will let corporate coups ride roughshod all over you. The judicial system will even take away your liberty for months without charging you. I feel embarrassed even just writing that.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I think I’m jaded. I always knew this was how it is in Japan. So I don’t think I’m as shocked as everyone else. Just as disgusted though. Spending months in jail without being found guilty of a crime is a travesty of a legal system.

Just to pass along information; (I TOTALLY do not agree with it, just sharing what is being talked about in the media here in regards to the criticism of the system from abroad)

The Japanese "wide-shows" have been discussing Ghosen's case quite a bit, and have been using this as "justification" for saying that the system here is not being used against a "foreigner" in particular and it is common.

Those in powerful positions are hardly exempt from pre-verdict detention -- one well-known case being that of Muneo Suzuki, a lower-house lawmaker arrested in 2002 on suspicion of bribery who was held for 437 days before being granted bail and eventually found guilty. Senior bureaucrat Atsuko Muraki was awarded damages after being detained for five months in 2009 in connection with fraud charges that turned out to have been fabricated.

They also talked about Rakuten's Horii and others too, try to justify Ghosen's detention time, and debunking the foreign criticism.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-04/ghosn-s-jail-time-may-stretch-to-months-in-japan-s-legal-system

7 ( +10 / -3 )

every foreigner who makes good money in Japan can be jailed for 50 days without trial or evidence. That's got to turn some people around. Do they risk getting an opinion on their contracts or just leave? It's not worth the risk

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The silence of the ACCJ and similar organizations is deafening....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This case it rattling Japan and that is exactly what this country needs. I know people who actually believe that the 99% conviction rate is because Japanese police are better at their jobs and that since Ghosn got indicted for something, he must be guilty.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I have a question:

How many J executives were detained and subsequently jailed for there (much worse) crimes against society - Olympus (read this case it is absolutely disgusting how deep and long this corruption went on), Kobe Steel, Toshiba, TEPCO, Takata - and to a lesser degree: the boxing scandal, all the sumo scandals, and the Japanese medical school scandals.

All I could find was Kikukawa (from Olympus) spent about two weeks in detention and released on 30 million yen bond.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"This is a specific case," said Seiji Nakata, head of Daiwa Securities. "I am in contact with foreign bosses and they have not voiced any pessimism on the subject".

Nakata-san: I would be willing to wager a significant amount that I am in contact with several more "foreign bosses" than you are and I can tell you with certainty virtually everyone has expressed at least some degree of pessimism on this subject. Some more than others.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Err Americans wrote our Constitution post WW2 so in theory it's American

Sure the Constitution is "American made" but that is what enabled Ghosn to have his 10 minutes in court. The Japanese Judicial system is based on their own warped idea of justice.

"In the United States, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. The 14th amendment to the US Constitution guarantees to every person, aliens included, “equal protection under the law.”

That is enshrined in the American constitution but the complete opposite is true of Japan. You are guilty until proven innocent. I think the blame for this lies squarely on Japan and nobody else.

If you think its unfair now...wait until Abe-san gets his hands on changing that very constitution. Which way do you think its going to go...more rights and freedom for the people of Japan (forget about foreigners)...think again my friend! But hey, as I have already said before, thats fine as long as its Japanese sticking it to Japanese thats OK because as Japanese you need to suck it up in the name of Nationalism and ethnic cohesion for the good of everyone or so they have been brain washed to believe!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I learned this from my own experience while expats may voice empathy they won't lift a finger, won't protest, won't attend court sessions.

Actually - sad but true. I am also guilty of not doing enough in that area.

As we have a diverse expat community in the comments section here, I wonder if anyone knows of something we can do? Many (most?) of us are not in Tokyo...

Is there at least a change.org petition or similar that anyone knows about?

The Japanese Justice system is clearly an insult to human rights, and Japanese attitudes (in general) toward foreigners need to be challenged. Many foreigners here are also stakeholders in Japan's future, therefore it is within our interests to do more than simply complain about online.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

To live and work in a country where any interaction with the law, is terrifying. The possible results negative to the extreme. Gastapo rules apply when questioned. There are better options for career prospects than Japan. Better lifestyles, wages to be found elsewhere. Had I known how backward it is I doubt I would have ever come as a young man. Too late now have a big family. But never ride a bike, never make eye contact with police. See trouble walk the other way. Boss is unhappy I quit. Limit my social life to family and foreign people, Japanese who have lived overseas. It's not worth the risk to interact with others. But hey, this lifestyle is good training for years of solidarity confinement and a bland diet.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Carole Ghosn, his wife, issued a statement Thursday

“I am pleading with the Japanese authorities to provide us with any information at all about my husband’s health,” Mrs. Ghosn said. “We are fearful and very worried his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment.”

6 ( +7 / -1 )

France and Brazil are betraying their citizens by not insisting that Ghosn be released from jail.

i was wondering the same thing, why aren't the French and Brazilians going after Japan on this?, there should be more public outrage. Japan is getting away with serious human rights abuses and awful behaviour. Ghosn has been kidnapped by the police, still no charges and all based on flimsy evidence.. 

I just wish someone with clout would come out and publicly denounce Japan for this disgrace.

Ahhh thats easy to explain...political back slapping and not wanting to upset the gravy train between the countries. Citizens of those countries should take note as well as many others I suspect. Japan would do the same to one of its citizens if it felt it was in their national or personal interests to do so. No country is going to go to war over one of their citizens in a pickle they could give a rats rear end. As they say...if you want loyalty...go get a dog!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"The way Mr Ghosn is treated seems completely out of proportion compared to the way Japanese executives are treated," said one Tokyo-based French businessperson, who asked not to be named.

This businessperson pointed to a series of massive accounting scandals at Toshiba during which Japanese executives avoided criminal charges.

Not only Toshiba, there are Kobe Steel, Takata, Olympus, Tepco, KYB and numerous others.

Of course anyone will pretty surprised seeing executives from those companies can still walk freely while they've done their crime in plain sight. While Ghosn is not necessarily guilty but already spent almost two months and will be for additional six months waiting his case to go to the court.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Wait until enough execs see him thin and gaunt, badly treated on top of badly treated. Japanese media saying he deserves it while not going after actual criminality in Japan Inc. Should make a few whoopsies and deter many from coming and some to leave. Too bad, I really like Japan. Working there always seems a bit iffy but now I'll never work there. Just shochu visits I guess. Ah well.

With previous articles talking about a need for programmers, why would any go there if they would fear being paid? All it will take is a few whispers, and off you go to detention

I'm wondering if it will affect those on the new working visas. They are not making any money, but if the perception is that Japan is not a fair player, then why would they come either?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Cooperate lawyer Noboru Gohara got the point, saikawa is a very nasty back-stabbing person with very nasty methods. He took ever step he could to get what he wants. This nasty person is the New face of a leader at Nissan ???. From this case on, no good foreign brains will work for Nissan or help any Japanese companies with all their hearts. If Carlos dies in detention, the world will call it murder. All this mean bad nasty actions just for one man's needs , the likes of saikawa ???. Any Japanese who can think with their brains will not even believe him, he is a vain mean hearted person who is jealous of even a little small dot that Carlos have. the world will not be a better place with people like saikawa. Destorying good people for his own selfish needs. WE, good Japanese will not want to see any Nissan products or anything Nissan until saikawa is fired. Disappear U...............................................we are ashamed of u, saikawa.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

For the first time. J.T. has published an article that crosses paths into my world.

 Seiji Nakata, head of Daiwa Securities. "I am in contact with foreign bosses and they have not voiced any pessimism on the subject".

Seiji. Should have called me and have asked this boss. I would have offred up a ton of pessimism.

I suspect you only called those bosses and clients out fear that would lose traction and you’re personal attention to accounts in fear of the sudden and the so called -(shoganai)- losses or minus.

You got the response's you were after. Cause you knew who to call and coach I suspect.

Good o'le boy network in Japan at it's finest.

Sayonara D.S. Relationship terminated!

Free this man! Unlawful detention and human right atrocities!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"People are worried. It creates a legal uncertainty on the business conditions in Japan," said another Tokyo-based source with close ties to foreign firms. "Seeing how the system works, and how it is orchestrated in the media, creates anxiety among business leaders, an uneasy feeling."

At some point your Japanese co-worker or business partner doesn't like you anymore, that person can easily fabricated allegation. Even if you are innocence at the end, you will disappear for several months at least. Even in some cases of cases even suddenly disappear for few days can affect your livelihood. 

The board of education had lost face due to my incarceration; the schools knew about it — a massive embarrassment all around. And because my employer had suffered a loss of face, it was my duty to resign. It didn’t matter what the truth was. No one was interested in whether I’d shoplifted or not.

> Two weeks later, a letter of apology from the store security guard who had apprehended me was dropped off at the board of education. The police had reviewed the security tapes and seen that I had not left the store. The security guard had been trying to meet a quota and felt that I, as a foreigner, would make an easy target. While at first I suffered, helpless, at the thought of people assuming I was a thief and criminal simply because I’d been accused, 

 http://nymag.com/vindicated/2016/11/truth-lies-and-videotape-at-the-kawasaki-kmart.html

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We do need to protest, so please spread the word and form a date to do so. Additionally please contact foreign media and Japanese media, create youtube videos to put the limelight on our corrupt racist system, even though Americans wrote our Constitution post ww2

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This case highlights what I have said for many years.

Don't see Japan through rose tinted spectacles. It has a dark side.

It certainly highlights a third world legal system.

I think this case demotes Japan to Division 2.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese prosecutors and Japanese at large can put on an act to show false outrage and try to spin the issue all they want; the fact of the matter is that Japanese society, legal system included, holds two buckets: in a kinder one it places Japanese and another harsher one it does the remaining non-Japanese population

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"This is a specific case," said Seiji Nakata, head of Daiwa Securities. "I am in contact with foreign bosses and they have not voiced any pessimism on the subject".

It's tatemae from those bosses, they just want to maintain being professional in front of him. He really needs to reach expat business circles and foreign investors to get better view.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am not rattled but then again my salary is not in the sphere were misreporting it could shake international markets either...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

zones2surfToday  

For what its worth, I know of this quite well.

A number of years ago, when I was a senior exec at a firm in Tokyo, one of our staff members, a non-Japanese, was arrested by the police. This gentleman had recently married a lovely Japanese woman and it seems that his ex-GF, also Japanese, decided to ruin his life.

So, she went to the police and accused him of a crime. She had no evidence, there was no evidence, but they proceeded to arrest him, search his residence and turn his life upside down.

He was subjected to this exact situation. He was detained and could have no visitors except a lawyer. We got him a lawyer, but his detention was repeatedly extended, while the police / prosecutors attempted to a coerce a confession from him. Finally, our lawyer was finally able to secure his release, but on one condition. That he must leave Japan within 30 days or he would be re-arrested. And that he should not ever live in Japan again.

And that is what happened. He returned to his home country, along with his Japanese wife, and we used our network to find him a great job. He is there today, having never returned to Japan. His wife was so disgusted by the experience that she took on citizenship in his home country and renounced her Japanese citizenship.

THAT is what the Japanese justice system can do. And before anyone says it, yes, I know of similar travesties in other countries. But we aren't talking about them. We are talking about Japan and what the Ghosn case has highlighted.

What a sad story...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I now understand the "I was drunk and don't remember" excuse. Don't remember so a confession is out the window as I don't remember? No confession no court case. Some stern looks but no conviction. It would be laughable if people's lives were not destroyed by prosecutors who's main aim is to jail someone, anyone. How on earth did Japan end up with such a banana republic legal system...oh it's a culture thing. Medieval system is appropriate but even medieval justice had the accused given an opportunity for the defendant to have a say. Regression to 1930s is not a sign of progress. The only time things change in Japan is due to an outside force. Sadly the system is incapable of any progress while left to itself.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

it could be six months until a trial

I will also be six months until Nissan's ordinary shareholders meeting...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Treatment between foreigner making crime report with enough evidences can be really opposite compared to Japanese who just make accusation without any evidence.

 

Foreigner that becoming victim with enough evidences 

I was stalked hit by car from behind kicked in head by Japanese driver as hard as he could like a soccer ball he later confessed in front of Japanese witnesses Meguro police didn't even detain him overnight, prosecutor didn't contact me or my doctors didn't inform me a hearing was scheduled the entire case was conducted in secret. I spent years and a lot of money suing in court and experienced more of same jingoism and indifference all the way to Tokyo High Court. Court ordered me to pay guilty assailants court fees. 

Japanese who just make accusation without any evidence.

So, she went to the police and accused him of a crime. She had no evidence, there was no evidence, but they proceeded to arrest him, search his residence and turn his life upside down.

He was subjected to this exact situation. He was detained and could have no visitors except a lawyer. We got him a lawyer, but his detention was repeatedly extended, while the police / prosecutors attempted to a coerce a confession from him. Finally, our lawyer was finally able to secure his release, but on one condition. That he must leave Japan within 30 days or he would be re-arrested. And that he should not ever live in Japan again.

And that is what happened. He returned to his home country, along with his Japanese wife, and we used our network to find him a great job. He is there today, having never returned to Japan. His wife was so disgusted by the experience that she took on citizenship in his home country and renounced her Japanese citizenship.

So comparing those stories with Ghosn, while Ghosn is not necessarily guilty but he already almost two months behind bar and he can expect for additional six month at least. While Japanese executives from Toshiba, Olympus, Tepco and others, they already admitted conducting scandal in plain sight just walk freely.

This businessperson pointed to a series of massive accounting scandals at Toshiba during which Japanese executives avoided criminal charges.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The expat community should have realized by now, that there is no concept of a Japanese dream here, as soon your small to medium business starts profiting, you will be hounded by Tax authorities, and if you are a executive with high salary you would be simply asked to leave... at this point only blue collar workers seem to be welcome..don't waste you skills and talent and start thinking seriously on migrating to a country where you can grow your business, skills.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704629804575324541365369872

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Seems to me that prosecutors in Japan are torturing detainees using rice and cold tatami in order to make them weak, break them down and get confessions. Eating only rice 3 times per day, 21 times per week, 1095 times per year can bring down even an elephant.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not surprised this is rattling the international community and people thinking of working (or continuing) here, and rightly so. Also not surprised Japan is feigning surprise about the reaction, or by the knee-jerk victim mentality:

"Many in Japan have voiced surprise that foreigners have criticized their legal system and prosecutors have reacted angrily, saying they are playing by the rules in place."

No, they are not. Or, if they are, why do they bend the rules for native born execs who do FAR worse? Yes, Horie and possibly one or two other exceptions can be made out of the literally dozens of major scandals each year, but that is because they seriously upset the powers that be and would not bow deeply and offer fake apologies, etc. I have Japanese friends who are worried about this as well -- and not because of the fickle mentality of many who want to look good in the eyes of the world (and feign not to care when they don't), but because it is reminiscent of the pre-WWII style of internment on top of other signs Japan is headed back in that direction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So Japan isn’t as safe as it always claims to be. The threat to your (foreign) existence is not by thugs but the police, prosecution and anybody around you who’s jealous or wants you out of the way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kohakuebisu

It's a setup by Nissan to break the mega alliance that's built and to buy back the company when the shares drop..

Thats the point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was shockingly to know Japan, a highly developed nation has such inhuman law of detaining suspect in long period of time before proven guilty. Carlos Ghosn is a victim of racial discrimination by the Japanese law enforcement. Japan might have been violating the UN Human Rights/ ICERD - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which had been rectified by Japan in 1995. French government should trigger UN to intervene such inhuman treatment of foreigner by the Japanese law enforcement.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese "wide-shows" have been discussing Ghosen's case quite a bit, and have been using this as "justification" for saying that the system here is not being used against a "foreigner" in particular and it is common.

I'm inclined to agree with them. Horie spent months in jail before being charged, and it happened to a Japanese guy I know who got arrested for possession of drugs. And how many stories have we read about people being 're-arrested', because the police have changed the charges in order to allow them to continue detaining the suspect.

It's a travesty of a legal system, but I can't say I see it as being particularly biased against Ghosn for being a foreigner.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Strangerland,

You are correct of course, BUT

I'm not sure why this was 'but' - I hadn't written anything that disagreed with what you wrote after this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am 100% Japanese living in Europe

Are you both culturally and ethnically Japanese?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Is it a matter of sovereignty, tradition, humanity? Will there be an I'm sorry for the animal-like treatment? Will they suddenly let him go without a comment? How Japan has changed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry now, this story does not sound believable.

It may not sound believable, but I've heard of the same thing happening to someone else. It's plausible that this happened. Whether they actually could follow through on the threat or not, I don't know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've heard of the same thing happening to someone else.

Really? The police say leave in 30 days or we will be arrested? OK, why don't I just kill someone. Then as long as leave the country in 30 days I won't be arrested. Better yet, the cops will warn me to make sure I leave the country in 30 days and I won't be prosecuted.

when I was a senior exec at a firm in Tokyo

This part sends a lot of red signals as a made-up story

accused him of a crime. She had no evidence, there was no evidence, but they proceeded to arrest him, search his residence and turn his life upside down.

Let's break this down. What crime was he accused of exactly? What are the details?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That won't be necessary. Please keep the discussion focused on what is in the story.

His lawyer can free him from one allegation but his lawyer seems aware that other allegations are on the way. No one can know exactly how one allegation will take from one detention period to another extended detention period, up until court.

One thing for sure, no one can face lengthy detention period in Japanese judicial system and expect their life will be the same as before.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While this is the case under comment, like the story of the JET who was wrongly accused of shoplifting, they are good examples of how the authorities treat foreigners here and show that the outlook for Ghosn is not good.

The Japanese justice system here is not solely about delivering independent justice, but an extension of state power and not concerned primarily with finding the truth.

More than the Olympus case, it will change how Japan is perceived throughout the world and it will never recover. A country already in long-term decline is ensuring is long-term isolation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@macv

"then few years later Ambassador Caroline Kennedy personally intervened to get convicted drug smuggler Toyota exec Julie Hamp released from jail and sent back to USA. Go figure. sad but true."

In Hamps defense, the smuggled drugs were pain killers but the part about our dancing Ambassador doing special favors for the elite...not surprised by that at all

During the 3/11 fiasco, our embassy told us to "stay tuned" to the japan gov reports concerning radiation, while other countries were getting their citizens the hell out of japan, no questions asked. Our "kind and loving" ambassador showed great care for his host countries citizens though. How many US companies were allowed in the rebuild effort?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its "safe" for a reason; not much tolerance for anything foreign. Alt right types claim its a utopia or example of all things good and right, but that just shows a disconnect and ignorance. Its what goes on below the surface that make it all work, and once you begin to understand those mechanisms, you realize its not the utopia it appears to be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan might have been violating the UN Human Rights/ ICERD - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which had been rectified by Japan in 1995.

Do you mean the dusty little, urine-soaked handbook that's been thrown into some dark alleyway in Tokyo? Yeah, I don't think Japan cares about some agreement they ratified in 1995 if it doesn't suit them. Look at the IWC, for example. Luckily for Japan, the UN is largely toothless and meaningless these days.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Think it depends whether you work for a Japanese company or are self employed or you work for a foreign company here.  Many of my colleagues at one of the latter are disgusted by this, but I wouldn't say rattled.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

that he must leave Japan within 30 days or he would be re-arrested.

Sorry now, this story does not sound believable. Re-arrested just for staying in a country? What was he accused of exactly? If you are about to be arrested they don't give you time to leave the country.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's not discrimination - it's just a bad system for both Japanese and foreigners

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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