Ghosn crisis at Nissan shows what’s wrong with Abenomics

PM Abe’s six-year plan to raise Japan’s game has just skidded into a ditch along with the nation’s second-largest automaker

November 21, 2018

„As Japanese gear up for the changing of the guard at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, another palace coup is grabbing headlines globally and forcing Japan Inc. to look in the mirror.

The upheaval in question is at Nissan Motor headquarters in Yokohama, where Carlos Ghosn was arrested Monday in dramatic fashion. The driving force behind the triple alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors allegedly underreported his income and misused company resources.

At a press conference that evening, Ghosn’s hand-picked successor at Nissan, CEO Hiroto Saikawa, was pressed on “coup d’etat” talk. “That is not my understanding,” he said, blaming Ghosn’s downfall on “series misconduct.”

We’ll see. One person who surely lacks understanding is French President Emmanuel Macron, whose government owns 15% of Renault. Macron has been trying to sell his people on the merits of capitalism and global investors on his economy. Yet spare a thought, too, for Shinzo Abe, whose six-year plan to raise Japan’s game just skidded into a ditch along with the nation’s second-largest automaker.“ (…)

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