Why Did Ghosn Flee Japan? He Cites a Figure: 99.4%

Ex-Nissan boss gives his first press conference since escaping the country
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2020 9:55 AM CST
Ghosn: I Didn't Notice 'Pearl Harbor' Coming for Me
Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn speaks at a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

In his first press conference given since his clandestine exit from Japan, Carlos Ghosn cleared one thing up on Wednesday: No, there's no Netflix show in the works about his dramatic exit. But Ghosn certainly brought the drama in the lengthy press conference given in Beirut, likening his November 2018 arrest in Japan to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. "It was a colleague in the US who said, 'Did you see Pearl Harbor?'" he said, per NBC News. "I didn't notice it because it was planned and confidential and secret." Per the Guardian, the ex-Nissan boss says he went from being a "role model" during his 17 years in Japan to being interrogated eight hours a day, kept in solitary confinement for more than four months, and permitted to shower only twice a week, reports the BBC.

And with Japan's 99.4% conviction rate, "it's not hard to come to the conclusion that you're going to die in Japan, or you're going to have to get out." Still, he says the decision to flee was the "most difficult" of his life; he said he wouldn't be providing details of his escape. But the AP reports he did stand in front of a five-part slide presentation and made the case that his arrest over alleged financial misconduct was really a plot rooted in Nissan executives' desire to wipe out the carmaker's alliance with Renault. "Some of our Japanese friends thought that the only way to get rid of Renault in Nissan is to get rid of me," he said, vowing to clear his name. Meanwhile on Wednesday, a Lebanese prosecutor says he'll question Ghosn Thursday about the Red Notice issued by Interpol, as well as on a more than decade-old visit to Israel. (More Carlos Ghosn stories.)

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