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Japan official in Lebanon seeks return of Carlos Ghosn

Former chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on January 08, 2020. [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]
Former chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on 8 January 2020 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Japan's Deputy Justice Minister Hiroyuki Yoshiie met yesterday with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Lebanese Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najem to discuss the return of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn who fled house arrest in Japan to Lebanon last year.

Aoun's office said on Twitter after the meeting that the officials discussed mutual relations and means of developing them, in addition to the matters that concern the two countries; without referring to Ghosn's case.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (C) meets Japanese State Minister of Justice, Hiroyuki Yoshiie (4th L) at the Baabda presidential palace in Beirut, Lebanon on March 02, 2020 for talks over former chairman of Nissan Carlos Ghosn. [Lebanese Presidency Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (C) meets Japanese State Minister of Justice, Hiroyuki Yoshiie (4th L) at the Baabda presidential palace in Beirut, Lebanon on March 02, 2020 for talks over former chairman of Nissan Carlos Ghosn. [Lebanese Presidency Office / Handout – Anadolu Agency]

Ghosn, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese nationalities, was arrested in late 2018 on charges of financial misconduct before being released on house arrest. He escaped Japanese surveillance and fled to Lebanon.

Ghosn, who led Nissan for nearly 20 years and pulled it out of bankruptcy, said he had fled a "never-ending nightmare", and vowed to clear himself when he obtains a "fair trial".

On Friday, Japan's Minister of Justice Masako Mori said her country would send a senior official to Beirut to explain the Japanese criminal justice system and improve cooperation between the two countries, noting that "Japan hopes that Lebanon can understand the Japanese criminal justice system correctly".

Lebanon and Japan have not signed an extradition treaty.

READ: France's Macron says he raised concerns with Japan over Ghosn detention

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