Full transcript of Al Arabiya’s exclusive interview with Nissan ex-boss Carlos Ghosn

 

Below are the full transcripts from Al Arabiya's exclusive interviews with former Nissan head Carlos Ghosn and Japan's Ambassador to Lebanon Takeshi Okubo.

Al Arabiya: Hello everyone, I am Taher Baraka, and welcome to a new special interview on Al Arabiya, this time with Mr. Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance.

The Japanese language is a bit difficult. Welcome Mr. Ghosn.

Ohayo Gozaimasu.

Ghosn: [laughing] Ohayo Gozaimasu.

Al Arabiya: Does it bother you if we speak in Japanese?

Ghosn: No, not at all [joking]. Are you going to conduct the interview in Japanese?

Al Arabiya: I wish, but I don’t know Japanese. Do you miss Japan?

Ghosn: Of course, yes.

Al Arabiya: Do you miss what you consider to be your glory days?

Ghosn: Of course, successful days, not only for myself, but for Nissan and hundreds of thousands of its employees. Everything went successfully for over 18 years, from 1999 till 2017, when I left the executive management of Nissan to Hiroto Saikawa, and that’s when things started to get out of hand.

Al Arabiya: This “out of hand” situation is what we would like to discuss throughout this interview, but we would like to start with recent news about your case. The American prosecution is looking into the trial of Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor, who are accused of helping you [escape Japan] in a case typically used for musical equipment. The details allege that an amount of money around $860,000 was reportedly transferred to Promote, a company related to Taylor. What would you say about that?

Ghosn: I cannot really say anything or comment. Since my arrival in Lebanon late last December, I have said I will not state anything on how I got out of Japan, because no matter what I say, it will cause danger to those who helped me. I do not wish to cause them any harm, so I would rather not.

Al Arabiya: Are you currently providing support to the people who helped you out?

Ghosn: Yes! Indeed, I was the Executive Director of Renault and Nissan, CEO at Mitsubishi. The alliance of the three brands was the first of its kind in the world and produced 10.6 million cars per year. Everyone around me wanted me happy. Ninety-eight percent of these people no longer make contact, but 2-3 percent have showed me loyalty, and of course I will pay them back for their loyalty.

My downfall showed me the loyal people I can count on, because [others] are around you when you are successful, but once you get into trouble, they all flee.

Al Arabiya: So, this is what happened with you?

Ghosn: Yes.

Al Arabiya: They all fled?

Ghosn: Not all.

Al Arabiya: Two percent did not flee?

Ghosn: Two to three percent did not flee.

Al Arabiya: When we mention Taylor and anyone involved in helping you out – you are almost considered free now, even with the Interpol [arrest warrant] and the case. Some of the people who are involved in your case are imprisoned. Are you helping them to get out?

Ghosn: As I said earlier, I am helping people. Now you are talking about specific people, and I will not comment. However, I am helping everyone who stood by me as much as I can, financially and in any way I can, but of course I am helping out one way or the other.

Al Arabiya: What do you feel for them?

Ghosn: The people who helped me?

Al Arabiya: Those who are imprisoned now while you are free. Those who helped.

Ghosn: You keep referring back to them, and I said I will not say a word in this regard. I am referring to those who helped me in general, especially as there are few who helped. I owe them.

Al Arabiya: Which international politicians let you down?

Ghosn: Japan did not support me at all, it was even part of the conspiracy.

Al Arabiya: We shall discuss Japan later in the interview since it has its own accusations against you, and we will go through them.

Ghosn: Of course, there are accusation, if there weren’t any accusations, they wouldn’t arrest a person. The problem is really if these accusations are true or false. Where did they come from and [why] all at once, and for what reason?

Al Arabiya: Let’s leave the accusations until later.

Ghosn: The French government helped me in the same way they would help any French citizen, not more.

Al Arabiya: They did not offer any special treatment or arrangement?

Ghosn: None whatsoever, regardless of my position as the CEO of a major company or that I played a major role in the French economy - they deemed all of that irrelevant. They gave me as much assistance as they would give to any French citizen. I personally feel that they extended to me the kind of support they would to the average French citizen, and even less than that.

Al Arabiya: Less than an average French citizen, because you are not originally French?

Ghosn: It is a negative point I take against France. The only government that stood by my side was Lebanon. They did everything they could do and interfered and questioned Japan’s case. Even if their accusations were true, there should be better means of communication.

The only person who visited me in Japan was the former French President Sarkozy. He met with me for an hour and a half at the French Embassy in Japan representing the French President Emmanuel Macron at the event held for the new Japanese Emperor.

Al Arabiya: A lot has been said in international news about your escape and how you managed to do it. Can we add anything or confirm the information that has been out?

Ghosn: Perhaps someday we will go into details, but not now because it may cause danger to those who helped me. Some of them are in Japan and in other countries around the world. It was not a small network. I made the entire plan of how to get out, but I needed information and assistance. I am not ready to involve these people at this moment simply by talking about it.

Al Arabiya: You do not wish to endanger them?

Ghosn: I would not want to get them in danger. I would only speak of it when they are no longer endangered.

Al Arabiya: Lebanon did not deliver you to Japan because there is no prisoner exchange [extradition] agreement between both countries. We will get back to that later during the interview. This fact was clearly discussed before and during planning your escape. Did you study this in detail, as to which country you should go?

Ghosn: I hold three nationalities: Brazilian, because I was born there, Lebanese, because my parents are Lebanese and I lived there, and French, based on the fact that I have always worked for French companies, starting with Michelin then Renault, Nissan, and back to Renault. All three countries do not have citizens or prisoner exchange agreements with Japan. Not Lebanon, not France, not Brazil.

I had the choice between these three countries. I chose Lebanon because I am married and I am attached to my wife, Carol, she is not French or Brazilian, she is a Lebanese and an American citizen.

She was in Lebanon at the end of the year as usual to spend time with her family and children. So, I chose to come to Lebanon, first because my wife was here, and because I wanted to retire in Lebanon.

Al Arabiya: Some may say that you chose Lebanon because some officials may protect and political parties may provide with you with cover in exchange for money or whatever, and that cannot happen in other countries.

Ghosn: This is all speculation. I just told you why I chose Lebanon over the other countries. I did not come back to Lebanon after being away for 10 years. I was already preparing my house in Lebanon for retirement, and everyone at Nissan and Renault and the alliance knew that. I was hesitant to renew my mandate. It had ended by June 2018 at Renault.

Al Arabiya: You were hesitant to renew it…

Ghosn: They asked me to stay. I was hesitant, I was 64 years old, and I could simply retire. I accomplished everything I wanted, the company was number one worldwide, and I had nothing more to add.

The French government and [Renault’s] French Board of Directors asked me to renew my mandate in June 2018. But I was already in Lebanon preparing to retire. After four months of the renewal, which was done in public and with support from the French government, unions and the Board of Directors, I was held in custody in November in Japan, and that was it, as if nothing happened.

Al Arabiya: How do you protect yourself in Lebanon?

Ghosn: I don’t need to protect myself in Lebanon. I don’t think the Lebanese government is against me. They requested my case file from Japan. “If you have something on this man, send the file.” It has been six months and the Japanese have not sent it yet. Why? I want them to send it because it carries the truth. I did not escape Japan because of fear of justice. I left it because I was taken as hostage. They wanted me to confess what I haven’t done or know of. It was a conspiracy.

When I arrived to Lebanon, Japan requested the Lebanese government to deliver Carlos Ghosn to them. Lebanon approved, if they receive the case file. They didn’t send anything for six months.

In Japan, the general prosecutor wins 99.4 percent of the cases.

No other country in the world reaches that level. Even Stalin in the Soviet Union won 92 percent of the cases while he had control over everything. When the Japanese prosecution is asked how they manage to obtain the 99.4 percent rate, their answer is that they do their job really well. They consider it to be an achievement.

Just think about this for a second please, Taher. After a Japanese student graduates with a law degree, he aims to become a general prosecutor. When he is promoted, being one of the brightest as well, he becomes a lawyer receiving a higher salary of course. So, they start their careers as general prosecutors, then shift to becoming lawyers. So, when that happens, they start losing 99.4 percent of cases on one end and 0.6 percent on the other end.

Al Arabiya: Shall we continue after the break?

Ghosn: Definitely.

Al Arabiya: We will discuss the issue from the Japanese and the French points of view after the break.

Break

Al Arabiya: Welcome back again to this special interview with Carlos Ghosn, former Executive Director of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Welcome back again, Mr. Carlos.

Back to some of the previously discussed points quickly, to the fact that you planned for your escape, alone?

Ghosn: Indeed. Once you are planning to do something like that you have to maintain some confidentiality.

Back in Japan, my phone was monitored. I was not allowed a smart phone, just a regular phone. There were cameras at home. I was followed on the streets by cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians. I wouldn’t be able to recognize them. They had no right to do any of that but did anyway. I filed complaints, but no one took it seriously, not even the judge. The lawyers agreed that it was against the law and filed complaints to the judge. He said he will look into it, but nothing was done.

So, what was I supposed to do? My phone was being monitored; there were cameras everywhere; I was being watched all the time, there could be monitors that I had not spotted.

Al Arabiya: How did you overcome all these obstacles and manage to escape?

Ghosn: I built a system where I managed to talk to people outside of Japan and figured it all out. I will not share details because, again, I do not wish to involve anyone. They put me under all these circumstances thinking that it was impossible for me to escape. Ninety percent of the Japanese people know me. I have been president of Nissan for 17 years. I have had interviews in all magazines and universities. I was given all these awards. I have published more than 20 books on management. I was a role model in Japan, and all of a sudden, I am considered a dictator.

Al Arabiya: They used to look upon you as a samurai?

Ghosn: They went from seeing me as a samurai to a dictator overnight, a dictator who loves money. First of all, during 17 years of work, many universities and consultants worked with us, thousands of people in and out of Nissan, how come no one ever said that I was a dictator? Second, all these accusations about money, I was never accused of taking the money, just planning, or I had been on trips that I shouldn’t have, or donated money to Lebanese universities where I had no right to, all accusations were as such. Even the money that was given to Juffali, the Saudi authorized agent, for his services, they said that he did not deserve it.

Al Arabiya: The Nissan-authorized agent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

Ghosn: Yes, he is. Then there was the story about [Suhail] Bahwan [Automobiles], the Nissan authorized agent in Oman. They made it up and searched everywhere, all the bank accounts in Oman, and got to nothing. If they had found out anything, they would have put it in the newspapers. That is how their system works, although Japanese law forbids it.

If Nissan believed that case, wouldn’t they let go of that authorized agent in Oman? They are still working with him. I am surprised. Ok, you stopped Carlos Ghosn. He is now out of Japan, but why would you still keep your authorized agent in Oman? Till now they are still dealing with him.

Al Arabiya: There are many accusations from the Japanese side that say you were not transparent about your financial status for the past five years, from 2010 to 2015, and you haven’t revealed your salary for 3 years. Financial wrongdoings, paying 5 million dollars to the authorized agent in Oman, and transferring money from the company’s accounts to your personal accounts, what do say about all that?

Ghosn: This is all wrong.

Al Arabiya: Is it that simple?

Ghosn: All wrong. Yes, I said it from the beginning it is a conspiracy… You will read about all that in the book to be released before the end of the year, responding to these accusations with documents and witnesses. I will defend myself in the book to be released before the end of the year.

I would like to go back to these accusations, and yes, you’re right, you’ll say, “if you want to speak then let the authorities speak [as well].” I was in custody for fourteen months. I was not allowed to speak. When I announced I would speak at an interview, I was taken into custody again, before holding the press conference.

I was taken into custody, because – people are shocked when I tell them this – according to them, I had not revealed salaries and compensations that I did not even receive. People are shocked. This was all part of the plan for after my retirement. How can they hold someone over money that was not delivered or announced because it first has to be approved by the board? They divided the accusations between 2010 until 2014, and 2015 until 2018.You know why? Because they wanted to keep me imprisoned for a longer period. Each period would keep me held for 20 days. That way I am held for a total of 40 days, and they have enough time to find something else. When you think about it, is it possible for an employee working for Nissan to do that and accuse his Board Director, a person representing 43 percent of assets, and I was president of Renault and head of the alliance, and I worked for 17 years, and brought the company back to life. [Renault] was dead in 1999. It had debts of 20 billion dollars and made no profit, and no Japanese bank would lend them loans. The Japanese banks normally agree together, and if they all refused to help out a company, this means it is dead. They tried twice to make a revival plan but failed. That is why they got me as a foreigner asking for help and were very critical of me; it did not start as golden age. Two years of accusations, of calling me a cost killer. But when I did what I did they were in shock. If you look at it in depth, their plan was intact.

Al Arabiya: I have to ask, do the Japanese have a problem with you?

Ghosn: They did not before, but they later had a problem with me.

Al Arabiya: What came up? Were they afraid of the alliance?

Ghosn: They were afraid of an alliance between Renault and Nissan. They know that I was the only person who could do that because I am accredited by Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. I was accredited in Japan and France.

Al Arabiya: What is France’s problem. Why would Renault press charges against you as well?

Ghosn: Renault only got involved after Nissan said in Holland that there was 11 million euros being questioned. Then Renault got involved.

Al Arabiya: This involvement we are talking about revealed questionable expenses in a shared outlet of Renault and Nissan in Holland worth 11 million euros?

Ghosn: This is it. They said they were questionable expenses. When one just states a number, it would immediately come across as if I had taken the 11 million euros from the company. Second, when they got to discuss the money, they hired an auditing company. I asked for the audit so I can simply defend my position. I still don’t know what happened. I am accused of stealing 11 million euros, and I have the right to know how. I found out from the news how they broke down the amount. Four to five million euros as travel expenses. I spent my life traveling. So, they said I traveled to Beirut for leisure not business. How would you know? If I traveled to Brazil, and I have friends in Lebanon, instead of going to Dubai I would come to Lebanon and ask all Renault and Nissan dealers to come to Beirut and they did. When I head to Brazil, my family is in Brazil, but we had factories there too. We were working with Stanford and we had a technology center in California that I had to visit too, but because my children live in San Francisco, my travels were also questioned. These were the accusations against me.

Other accusations included donations made to universities and schools in Lebanon. I would be asked just like any other big company would be. Of course, they would ask me because I am Lebanese.

Al Arabiya: Is the problem with donations to Lebanon only or all donations?

Ghosn: Just Lebanon. I provided donations to universities in France and Japan, but these were not mentioned. Why Lebanon?

Al Arabiya: Why hasn’t the French government supported you?

Ghosn: The question needs to be addressed to them.

Al Arabiya: What did you hear about that?

Ghosn: They supported me for the first month. I wanted there to be more support. A French political figure told me, “If I were President, I would have taken you out within 24 hours.” The American Ambassador to Japan told the French Ambassador that if I were executive of an American company, I would be out within 24 hours. But they abandoned me. They supported me shortly but then they abandoned me in November. I was told that there was a meeting between the French Minister of Financial Affairs and two representatives of Renault. The minister said that they cannot support Carlos Ghosn anymore because at that time there was the ‘Yellow Vests Movement.’

Al Arabiya: What is the relation? Because of what the movement is asking for?

Ghosn: A company executive in France is not considered a hero, but in Japan or USA he is. Especially if he has wealth and power, the French will not approach him. They will not defend or support me with all the people on the streets. That is how I see it. The truth will be revealed, and nothing will remain secret. These people will speak, but for now they are afraid. Did you read the article on Bloomberg? The truth is staring to be revealed, all the scandals, all the emails.

Al Arabiya: What exactly? The Nissan emails?

Ghosn: It is a conspiracy.

Al Arabiya: Nissan?

Ghosn: Yes, a conspiracy.

Al Arabiya: We will continue after the break. Thank you, Mr. Carlos.

Break

Al Arabiya: Welcome back to this special interview on Al Arabiya, today with Mr. Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance. Welcome Mr. Ghosn.

There is talk of the IMF pressuring Lebanon to deliver you to Japan in return for providing Lebanon with funds and loans, is that true?

Ghosn: I read that in Arab News being said by Nissan’s lawyer in Lebanon. At first, he lied and said he never mentioned anything of that sense, but Arab News published the recordings. I don’t blame the lawyer. In his position, he would not announce such news unless was given the green light and was asked to do so. You can realize that because he initially denied it, then they released a statement and that was it. He remained Nissan’s lawyer. If Nissan, hadn’t asked him to do this, they would have fired him.

I will remind you of another incident. When I got to Lebanon, the Japanese Minister of Justice, Mrs. Mori, announced that Carlos Ghosn must come to Japan to prove his innocence. All hell broke loose. In a democratic country such as Japan, or so they claim to be, people should not prove their innocence, but the government should prove them guilty.

Al Arabiya: Why does everyone call Carlos Ghosn a samurai? And you were looked upon as such in France and in Lebanon?

Ghosn: There were results. When a person is an executive, do they look to see if you are a good speaker, or good-looking. They need to see accomplishments. I took over a dead company in 1999 in Japan, and I don’t speak their language. After they had failed to recover the company twice, they gave up. In 1999, the company sold 2.5 million cars per year and lost money. It had 20 billion USD in debt, and not a single Japanese bank would offer them loans. When I left the company in 2017, it had made profit throughout all my years of working there, with one exception in 2009 with the worldwide financial recession. I left it with 20 billion dollars in profit, instead of the same amount in deb, and instead of selling 2.5 million cars, the company was selling 5.8 million cars. What more do you want? That’s how I became a hero.

Al Arabiya: That is all Nissan, what about Renault?

Ghosn: Let’s continue about Nissan for a minute. There were several books published about the successes until 2018 until I was taken into custody, and everything changed.

In 2005, Renault sales were 2.3 to 2.4 million cars per year. The company was in a fair financial state, but it was a European company. All their profits were made in Europe. It was losing in Russia, Brazil, China and USA. Losses everywhere. I took over in 2005.

My mission was to make it an international brand. In 2018, when I was taken into custody, Renault was selling around 4 million cars annually. The profit made in my four years of service was unprecedented, since its establishment more than 120 years ago.

Al Arabiya: Would you say that Nissan and Renault have failed since you left?

Ghosn: Look at the results since November 2018. People are blaming COVID-19. It’s not true. You have to look back at the period from November 2018 until now. Read the statistics of all Arabic companies. General Motors, from November 2018 dropped by 12 percent. Toyota by 15 percent, Nissan by 55 percent, Renault by 70 percent. Did coronavirus affect only these two companies?

Al Arabiya: I would like to know what will happen with Interpol. You are not allowed to fly whilst you spent most of your life flying, what will happen next?

Ghosn: Japan sent a request to Interpol to detain me. Now Interpol is bound to do so. However, Interpol has three main constraints that hold it back: if it is a political case, if there was violation of human rights, if the case can be resolved outside of the courts of law.

I have all three. My case is by all means political with the intervention of the Japanese Prime Minister, Ministers of Economy and Justice, and the French President, and Lebanese Minister of Economy and the Lebanese President, and the President of Brazil too, and all ambassadors involved. This is number one.

Number two, violation of human rights. I did not have a lawyer; you see I am a foreigner and I did not understand the Japanese language that was spoken to me. The Japanese prosecutor spoke Japanese and had a translator. They made me sign documents in Japanese that I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t make sure that I am signing on what I was told was there. I was not allowed to see or talk to my wife for nine months, or to my son, I was being followed on the streets. We filed cases for 12 violations of Japanese law, and the judge did not care.

Third, the Japanese Prime Minister stated that he had preferred the case was resolved within the board of Nissan. What does that all mean?

Al Arabiya: Did you communicate that with Interpol? Any developments?

Ghosn: Of course, I did. But it takes time. You have to submit a lot of paperwork; you need to submit your explanation. It all takes time. But, I do not consider myself held prisoner in Lebanon

Al Arabiya: So, you are comfortable?

Ghosn: A thousand times better than Japan. I am well respected here. I can communicate with a lawyer if needed.

Al Arabiya: Do you expect that you will be allowed to travel, and your case is still open in Japan courts?

Ghosn: Unless the Japanese opposition comes to power in Japan, because the opposition does not agree to what they call hostage justice. Many defended my case based on that. A Japanese opposition member actually told me he is ashamed of the fact that Japan treated me in an evil way after all the good things I contributed.

This opposition political figure said to me: “You did well for Japan. You were the foreign investment ambassador to Japan, and spoke well of Japan in Davos, this is how they pay you back.” I have nothing against the Japanese people. When I was out and about in Japan, I was treated well and fully respected by everyone and as if nothing had happened.

Al Arabiya: So, was it only the judicial system?

Ghosn: The judicial system and certain people in Nissan, like Saikawa, Toyoda, Nagai, Kawagushi and Harinada. They were all part of the conspiracy with the public prosecutor and the Japanese Government.

Al Arabiya: Mr. Carlos Ghosn thank you very much for your time with us at Al Arabiya. Now of course the government Japan and France will be discussed after the break.

Thanks again, we were with Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Japan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Takeshi Okubo interview with Al Arabiya: Full transcript.

Al Arabiya: Welcome Ambassador, thank you for joining us on Al Arabiya.

Peace be upon you.

This is the first, exclusive interview on Al Arabiya. You decided to relay through us to the Arab world to explain what you have on Carlos Ghosn’s cases.

What is Carlos Ghosn’s current legal status in Japan? How was it prior to his fleeing and how did it become after?

Okubo: The Japanese government notified the Lebanese government that, unfortunately, Carlos Ghosn, the defendant in the criminal case, illegally escaped from Japan and arrived in Lebanon.

We also notified the government that we absolutely cannot accept this.

We demanded – on several occasions – that the Lebanese government provides the necessary cooperation including revealing details in the case that the Japanese government is highly interested in.

From another point, his excellency the President [Michel] Aoun affirmed that the Lebanese government was not involved in this case and he stressed the importance of industrial relations between the two countries, Japan and Lebanon.

He also promised that Lebanon will fully cooperate in this matter.

It saddens me to inform you on this occasion that what Mr. Carlos Ghosn did is a blatant violation of the dignity, prestige and sovereignty of the country of Japan. We can say that he hurt us deeply and this contradicts the Arab manners that call for preserving honor and dignity.

The only way and best way to preserve honor and dignity is to be represented in front of justice and achieving it.

Also, Mr. Carlos Ghosn continues to spread propaganda and false information about the Japanese criminal justice system and how to activate it.

This is completely unacceptable.

Japan, with its role in international human rights, commits to the required corrections, as does the criminal justice system in Japan to uncover crimes as human rights are valued enough. It is unbelievable to criticize [the justice system].

Al Arabiya: Your excellency the Ambassador, what does the Interpol have to say in this regard? You submitted a request to the Interpol and there is an international warrant, but Mr. Ghosn remains in Lebanon and has not been taken into custody by the Interpol. What have you received in response to your request in executing the arrest?

Okubo: In general, the Interpol aims to strengthen the mutual cooperation between police internationally. It gathers information related connected to international crimes and it uncovers hideouts of criminals and issues warrants for international arrests. Interpol does not do the arresting. This is what I think about the Interpol.

Al Arabiya: You mentioned what the Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s response was to you in regard to Carlos Ghosn’s case, but what does he say about not officially surrendering [Ghosn] to Japan? What are you hearing from Lebanese officials? He is a Lebanese national who has a problem in Japan and is wanted by the Japanese justice system so he is tried in [Japan]. What are the Lebanese officials saying?

Okubo: In regard to surrendering Mr. Carlos Ghosn, I decline to answer because this is connected to the criminal procedures that the public prosecution is currently taking in Japan. Anyway, the Japanese government believes that it is normal for this defendant to be tried under the Japanese justice system. From our end, we will continue taking the necessary measures in cooperating with the Lebanese government and other related countries.

Al Arabiya: Is it true that Japan has or will place conditions and pressure on Lebanon, whether economical or political, as it faces one of its worse economic crises, in connection to Carlos Ghosn’s cases as in surrender Carlos Ghosn then [Japan] will help?

Okubo: In general, different things are taken into consideration in making the decision for providing official aid to foreign countries. However, in this case, considering what is happening in Lebanon from the flow of Syrian refugees and an unprecedented financial and social crisis, in addition to the spread of the new coronavirus, and the general conditions of the Middle East, I believe that we wanted to avoid the destabilization of the stability in Lebanon in this stage.

Other than that, I would like to add that we are in constant contact with the Lebanese government in this regard.

Anyway, the Japanese government believes this person, Carlos Ghosn, must face justice in a Japanese court.

Al Arabiya: Your excellency Ambassador Okubo Takeshi, Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon, thank you for accepting our invitation. As we said this is an important development to be able to sit with you and further understand this case.

Okubo: In conclusion, regardless of the sensitivity of Mr. Carlos Ghosn’s case, it is my duty to preserve the friendship and partnership between the people of two nations, Lebanon and Japan, and develop our relationships and establish them in all fields, on all levels.

The Japanese-Arab relations are very strong over history and decades and it will remain strong inshallah no matter how files come to surface and thank you all.

Al Arabiya: Thank you very much your excellency the ambassador for this participation with us and as we said this is a significant development for you to appear with us to explain to the Arab audience the lengths of this case and to understand, based on your position, that there are some cases, whether due to legal reasons or not, you cannot discuss.

Our dear audience, we conclude this special episode on Carlos Ghosn’s case in the in our interview with him and the Japanese ambassador and we also mentioned the French response on our platform in case Paris would like to respond to this case after discussing with them.

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