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  #51  
Old 01-11-2020, 08:28 AM
Ravenman is offline
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You didn’t say shady. The plain reading of your words, to me, indicates that many, many executives break the law in Japan on these matters, assisted by many of their lawyers and whatnot. But it is only gaijin who get prosecuted, and others get fined, and the accountants and lawyers are also “culpable.”

Look, if you are using words like “pay fines” and “culpable” in some way that doesn’t actually meaning “they broke the law,” then just go ahead and clarify. But as I said before, my plain reading of your words is that many people break the law but only foreigners get arrested.

That clearly seems to be an argument that Ghosn was doing the same thing that many others were doing: breaking the law.

Unless you’re now going to revise your argument to everyone EXCEPT Ghosn was breaking the law....
  #52  
Old 01-11-2020, 08:44 AM
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You didn’t say shady. The plain reading of your words, to me, indicates that many, many executives break the law in Japan on these matters, assisted by many of their lawyers and whatnot. But it is only gaijin who get prosecuted, and others get fined, and the accountants and lawyers are also “culpable.”

Look, if you are using words like “pay fines” and “culpable” in some way that doesn’t actually meaning “they broke the law,” then just go ahead and clarify. But as I said before, my plain reading of your words is that many people break the law but only foreigners get arrested.

That clearly seems to be an argument that Ghosn was doing the same thing that many others were doing: breaking the law.

Unless you’re now going to revise your argument to everyone EXCEPT Ghosn was breaking the law....
I never revise my argument because it is always thought out to the conclusion. If he was breaking the law then please try him in a court of law within a decent time-frame.

They couldn't do that, So something was wrong.
  #53  
Old 01-11-2020, 09:58 AM
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But whether or not a person committed a crime and whether they are treated fairly by the justice system can be two separate issues.

A murderer may go free because the police violated his rights. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t break the law - just means he can’t be punished for it.

As I’ve said several times, it sounds like Ghosn broke the law AND he’s been treated unfairly by the authorities. It seems like you agree with that in some posts, and disagree with it in others.
  #54  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:10 AM
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As I’ve said several times, it sounds like Ghosn broke the law.
What law?
  #55  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:22 AM
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The laws you say that Japanese executives break all the time.
  #56  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:28 AM
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The laws you say that Japanese executives break all the time.
Thanks for being an egg.
  #57  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:50 PM
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Was Nissan penetrated by Yakuza before, during, and/or after Ghosn's tenure?
  #58  
Old 01-11-2020, 08:22 PM
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Thanks for being an egg.
That’ll get you another warning, Isamu.

You are henceforth forbidden from participating in this thread forever.
  #59  
Old 01-12-2020, 08:24 PM
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As near as i can tell, Ghosn is an asshole who got taken down by bigger assholes. No sympathy here.
  #60  
Old 01-13-2020, 12:17 AM
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Whatever racism and institutional problems exist in the Japanese legal system, they don't change the fact that Renault uncovered 11 million euros in questionable expense by Ghosn, and that he was fined $1 million by the SEC for failure to disclose $140 million in pay from Nissan. I have no doubt that he is a crook and perpetrator of massive financial frauds. He's also someone who has enough legitimate and stolen money and P.R. savvy to play the press and turn himself into a victim.
  #61  
Old 01-14-2020, 04:02 PM
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This entire thread put me in mind of my wife's grandmother's saying: Lie down with dogs; get up with fleas. Isamu, who actually lives there has convinced me of two things: Ghosn is pretty shady and he has been railroaded for being a furriner.
  #62  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:26 PM
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This entire thread put me in mind of my wife's grandmother's saying: Lie down with dogs; get up with fleas. Isamu, who actually lives there has convinced me of two things: Ghosn is pretty shady and he has been railroaded for being a furriner.
You don't have to worked in the Japanese corporate world (I also have) to know how upset it makes some 'career employees' if foreigners get put in place above them making more money. They *really* don't like it, and some Japanese companies are better than others managing that process, it's always in an issue. On the face of it I'd give some credence to Ghosn's claim he was railroaded, subject to proof.

I also agree Ghosn comes off shady. Whether he did anything that as a practical matter other people would be likely to be criminally prosecuted for (either in Japan or France, US or other potentially related countries for Nissan/Renault) is a different question. And that does matter. It's all fine for 'ordinary folks' to take the populist position that failings in corporate governance or even things that trigger *civil* penalties by the SEC are 'the same as hitting somebody over the head and taking their wallet'. But in reality it's often much murkier than that, and you can easily overcriminalize what should be board room or regulator civil issues. A lot of enforcement of transparency is by firing people and/or civil penalties, and there's nothing inherently corrupt about that, even if it's big amounts of money. Although there's also the possibility of real criminal actions. I'm skeptical Ghosn did anything that should be found criminal, but maybe he did.

OTOH having direct experience in Japan as a foreigner might bias people (myself or Isamu or anyone else claiming that experience). It doesn't make all your opinions about something right just because you're personally familiar with it.

Last edited by Corry El; 01-15-2020 at 12:29 PM.
  #63  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:41 PM
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And on the gripping hand; So it's a falling out among thieves, why should I care?
Just wanted to say that I appreciate classic SF references.
  #64  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:10 PM
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Just wanted to say that I appreciate classic SF references.
Thank you. I'm glad somebody noticed.
  #65  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:01 AM
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But whether or not a person committed a crime and whether they are treated fairly by the justice system can be two separate issues.

A murderer may go free because the police violated his rights. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t break the law - just means he can’t be punished for it.

As I’ve said several times, it sounds like Ghosn broke the law AND he’s been treated unfairly by the authorities. It seems like you agree with that in some posts, and disagree with it in others.
Because Isamu is no longer allowed in this thread, I'm going to break my personal rule not to argue things that the other person hasn't directly said. I will instead say how I interpreted his posts.

I don't see any post where Isamu's claimed that Ghosn broke the law. He argued that Japanese executives break the law all the time, and that Ghosn is shady. But he's also argued there was no evidence Ghosn broke the law. And he's argued that other Japanese executives used Ghosn as a fall guy.

If I take all of these as true, then it's possible that Ghosn didn't actually break the law, but the other executives did, but they're pinning it on Ghosn because he's shady enough that people would believe he did it. He was the fall guy, but not the guy who actually committed the crimes.

I don't know how likely this is, and the fact that Isamu never flat out said this counts against this being what he meant. But that's what I took away from it.

Last edited by BigT; 01-17-2020 at 09:03 AM.
  #66  
Old 01-17-2020, 05:26 PM
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If nothing else, what he did with Nissan was "criminal" an the figurative sense. When the 350Z debuted, it was a stellar car for the money. Ditto the Altima and the Maxima. Infinity had some truly nice cars as well. He let them stagnate. The 370Z you can buy today is effectively the same car you would buy over 10 years ago, just with a higher price. Same for the Skyline/GT-R.

Did he deserve the Japanese justice system treatment? Probably not. Am I glad that he spent a year under arrest and had to forfeit a significant fraction of his fortune (both his bail money and the money he spent on his escape)? Yes.
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  #67  
Old 01-22-2020, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
But whether or not a person committed a crime and whether they are treated fairly by the justice system can be two separate issues.

A murderer may go free because the police violated his rights. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t break the law - just means he can’t be punished for it.

As I’ve said several times, it sounds like Ghosn broke the law AND he’s been treated unfairly by the authorities. It seems like you agree with that in some posts, and disagree with it in others.
This is a little late for the thread, but as a former expat in Japan, I do agree that their criminal system sucks badly. It doesn't matter if he broke the law or not, the courts are bad enough that I don't feel bad about him running away.

There is a lot of corruption in business and politics there. I really don't think it's possible to know for certain that his actions were egregious enough to warrant being arrested and charged. If the vast majority CEOs are doing equivalent things, then a potential 15 year sentence seems completely wrong.

The late president of my former company appears to have done worse, including diverting profits to his mistresses, getting kickbacks and playing all sorts of financial games which would land him in serious trouble with the IRS, had the company been located in the US. That was representative of customers' companies.

Unfortunately, the Japan legal is too questionable to believe. I simply don't accept any of the reports in the news concerning his charges. Naturally, his side's claims can't be accepted at face value.
  #68  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:36 PM
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Its a mistake to think that the Japanese, and many other nations, hold the same beliefs as we do concerning the law and moral and ethical values. Thats on us for our arrogance.
This is very true, and it’s a risk of doing business in many countries, not just Japan.

BUT

People doing business in these countries at that level should be fully aware of the risks imposed by the legal system and business culture in their host countries. If they don’t, it’s on them.

These risks are usually accompanied by equally outsized rewards and its up to the individual to assess the equation. If he's right, he gets insanely rich. If he’s wrong, he could lose it all, including his freedom and in some cases, his life.

It’s harsh, for sure......but being a certain kind of rich isn’t for everyone. It’s takes a very specific personality type to gamble at that level and when they go down, they go down hard. And they all know this.

It’s on him. Sometimes being rich sucks.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-22-2020 at 08:38 PM.
  #69  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:57 PM
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Their methodology (on which I read up this week in relation to this case) is shady and scary. Lock you up until you confess? Refile after a non-guilty verdict? Modify and refile after time expires? Ugh.
True enough, but another datapoint I've heard is that the main reason for the 95% (or somesuch) conviction rate is simply that because getting a suspect acquitted is a huge slap in the face in their culture ; prosecutors simply won't move to trial unless they're absolutely, positively, unquestionably able to prove their case. If there's doubt or grey areas or unanswered questions, they'll either let you go... or just hold you, yeah.

One side effect of this is that lawyers who manage to get a client free even once are basically rock gods of the Japanese legal world. They can build an entire career out of one such case.
  #70  
Old 01-26-2020, 12:27 PM
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This is very true, and it’s a risk of doing business in many countries, not just Japan.

BUT

People doing business in these countries at that level should be fully aware of the risks imposed by the legal system and business culture in their host countries. If they don’t, it’s on them.
That might be a somewhat good argument to judge whether Ghosn is morally justified in having escaped from Japan. It's not crystal clear if we're discussing the validity of his actions (including escape), the particular charges against him or the Japanese justice system in general.

Again having lived and worked in Japan (and Korea) I'm not sure there's a lot of validity to the idea of a fundamental difference in theoretical ideals of ethics between Confucian societies and the West. Specific laws might be different. The modern legal systems in both those countries were modeled more on Continental European systems than either Anglo-Saxon law or a Sinic or purely indigenous concept of law (though both were influenced in the post WWII period by the US legal system to some degree). So obviously you have to be aware of what the law is where you operate.

But the question about the validity of charges here IMO is mainly about consistency within their system, not the law being different. I don't know if there's any country which says 'our system is based on treating people who commit the same offenses inconsistently'. Japan isn't one anyway. The question is how inconsistent they are in practice, on the basic issue of whether Nissan's disclosure of Ghosn's compensation was criminally illegal, or similar to that done by lots of companies and found to not even be a civil violation. Every country's legal system has instances of treating people unfairly inconsistently, the US included obviously. The question is degree either in a given case or how often it happens.

And I personally don't entirely accept that it's 'on you' if you're treated unfairly in a foreign country. I doubt many people on this forum would apply that to immigrants to the US, 'it's on them if the legal system in the US treats them unfairly, they accepted that risk by coming'. By same token it would not always be a trade off against vast riches, and certainly not that high pay of a person morally justifies treating them unfairly. Besides cases of poor immigrants (which could also apply in Japan though they are less numerous than in the US), the American Ghosn protege guy who was lured there by Nissan and the prosecutors is still locked up. He's hardly a poverty case I'm sure, but far from Ghosn's level.
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