It's not often that we get to see Japanese justice quite as vividly as we have now in the way the Japanese have been treating Carlos Ghosn.
I'm not sure many executives around the world had any idea how the Japanese system worked. Now that they have seen it up close, they would have to be very uncomfortable, to say the least.
Whether Ghosn is innocent or guilty of financial misdeeds will be settled in court. Sadly, it will be settled through a Japanese justice system that resembles a kangaroo court. Even though Ghosn seems to have good defense attorneys, the whole scenario seems to be out of a soap opera. I cannot help but wonder what it would be like if the European manufacturers were forced to face a Japanese court system.
I have known Ghosn for several decades, having met him when he was working for Michelin before Louis Schweitzer hired him as his deputy at Renault. His career has been spectacular, as he went on to save two and later three companies.
His rewards shall be determined in a Japanese court of law. We will learn a lot during what is bound to be a very long and emotional trial.
It's not only Ghosn who is on trial. So are Japan and its judicial system. The world is watching with great interest to see if Ghosn can get a fair trial.
Ghosn was well-compensated over the years, and he became a cult figure in Japan. It's been alleged that some people at Nissan were not happy during this time and have been waiting for their opportunity to seek revenge. The Japanese system seems to be their ally.
It is going to be a very interesting trial, to say the least. We will see Japan Inc. as the prosecutor along with Nissan. Renault seems to be an innocent bystander.
Ghosn is accused of misappropriating Nissan's company funds to enrich himself. The irony is that Nissan owes him a great deal. He saved the company.
What happens now is another chapter in an ongoing soap opera. Let's all hope it is a fair trial.