Japan’s justice minister launched an attack on Carlos Ghosn after he lampooned the country’s legal system, saying “forced confessions”, “solitary confinement” and “limited access to lawyers” are “just part of Japanese culture”.
Ghosn spoke to journalists for the first time since fleeing Japan to Lebanon on Wednesday, saying investigators had attempted to force a confession from him through questioning lasting for up to eight hours a day without his lawyers present.
Justice Minister Masako Mori held a news conference soon after Ghosn’s media appearance to defend Japan’s legal system.
“I felt that we needed to respond immediately to broadcast a correct understanding to people around the world that ‘unfair trials’ are just a part of our culture.”
“We are also holding former Australian SBS journalist Scott McIntyre in solitary confinement for attempting to see his children who were born to his Japanese wife.”
Mori said Ghosn’s escape from his trial in itself “constitutes a crime, but prosecutors leaking information to the press”, although technically illegal, “is also part of Japanese culture”.
In regards to other high-profile allegations of corruption, Mitsubishi executives and Japanese ministry officials won’t be arrested for falsifying data on shipments and using retired and dead people to meet disabled quotas, Mori told reporters.
“This is also just part of Japan’s culture.”
Mori said former TEPCO executives who directly oversaw the meltdown of the three Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors also won’t be arrested for receiving data that anticipated a tsunami of more than 10 metres in height and did nothing “because culture”.