Japan to Seek Talks with Lebanon Over Fugitive Ghosn

Emi Nobuhiro and Lisa Du

(Bloomberg) -- Japan is expected to speak with Lebanon through diplomatic channels about Carlos Ghosn fleeing Tokyo for the Middle East country, according to a senior Japanese government official.

The comment Wednesday would mark some of the earliest indications about how Tokyo plans to respond after the former head of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA snuck out Japan where he was awaiting trial.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the government was still unaware of various details including how Ghosn escaped Japan and his exact current whereabouts.

Lebanon, where Ghosn grew up and holds citizenship, doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan and it’s not clear what the Japanese government will pursue in its diplomatic negotiations. The former industry heavyweight also has French and Brazilian citizenship, though all his passports had been taken from him as a condition of his release in bail.

Ghosn, who faces charges of financial misconduct in Japan, has said he was fleeing Japan’s “rigged” justice system and plans to communicate his story with the public next week.

Since news of Ghosn’s escape came out, some Japanese lawmakers including ruling party member Masahisa Sato have made comments on Twitter denouncing what they see as Ghosn’s scorn for Japanese law.

The Sankei newspaper quoted an unnamed top official at the prosecutor’s office as saying that Ghosn had made a mockery of the Japanese justice system.

To contact the reporters on this story: Emi Nobuhiro in Tokyo at enobuhiro@bloomberg.net;Lisa Du in Tokyo at ldu31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, Jon Herskovitz, Kazunori Takada

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