Almost a month since Nissan-Renault alliance ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Lebanon, Japan is said to be open to justice reform following many allegations and accusations targeting the already much-criticized criminal justice system.
Ghosn said in his first press conference following the escape, “I spent 180 days in a solitary cell in prison. There were no windows; I didn’t know my day from my night. and I was only allowed 30 minutes of fresh air a day.”
“I was only allowed to shower twice a week, and I was not given all the medication I needed. I was prohibited from contacting my family,” he pointed out.
He also added more details on the daily eight hours’ interrogations he was submitted to and the ill-condition of his imprisonment. When Ghosn was informed that his trial could take five years in Japan, he decided to escape what he considered an “injustice system.”
Japanese justice minister Masako Mori at a press conference in Tokyo said that Nissan’s former chairman “is disseminating a lot of incorrect information” about Japan’s legal system.
Mori added, “Our criminal justice system is suitably designed and suitably operated. But, like any other country, it is not 100 percent perfect and without fault. I truly want you to trust me when I say that if there are faults we will fix them, openly and above board.”
The Japanese minister insisted that Japan is always willing to reform and fix faulty system glitches, but not because of Ghosn’s allegations, as she considered his escape an unjustifiable flight that would be a criminal act under the laws of any country.
Even though Mori declined to name any specific fault with Japan’s system, she said there had been constant reforms, including videotaping Carlos Ghosn’s interrogations since 2016.
She also promised to address any problem identified by the country’s legal community in an ongoing review.
Mori proceeded to say, “He is disseminating a lot of incorrect information but because he is such a famous figure, his global influence is immeasurable. That is why I need to rebut him.”
Judicial sources, as well as sources close to Ghosn, said that Japan has given Lebanon 40 days to decide whether Ghosn will be extradited to Japan or stand trial in Lebanon.