Japan on Sunday said it would tighten immigration measures after former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn fled the country while on bail, its first official response to an astonishing escape that has transformed the executive into an worldwide fugitive.
CEO Carlos Ghosn's flight from Japan, where he was facing fraud charges, to Lebanon was the result of an elaborate, detailed plan involving more than 10 people that took months to work out and exploited a security gap at the Osaka Airport, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Mr Ghosn denies the charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan, instead claiming the country's justice system is "rigged".
The website Flightradar24's data revealed that Ghosn's plane took off from Kansai International Airport shortly after 11 pm on December 29, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said in the report late on Friday, January 3.
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Ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn left his Tokyo residence after a private security firm hired by the Japanese auto company stopped monitoring him, three sources familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency on Saturday.
Ghosn skipped bail while awaiting trial on several charges of financial misconduct and then said from Lebanon that he escaped injustice.
One of his lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters in November that they were considering steps to prevent people from stalking Ghosn.
In their first remarks since Ghosn's flight just before the New Year, prosecutors said the escape vindicated their argument that he should have been kept in custody.
Earlier Tuesday, Ghosn's former employer, Nissan Motor Co., said it was still pursuing legal action against him despite his escape.
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The request asks the Lebanese authorities to preventively arrest Ghosn, pending extradition or a similar mechanism.
His bail has been revoked, and Interpol has issued a wanted notice.
Japan's chief government spokesman told reporters that the government had informed Lebanon that Mr Ghosn left the country illegally and it sought cooperation in finding out what happened.
Ghosn's legal team also said prosecutors withheld evidence, citing concerns voiced by Nissan that it included sensitive information about operations and employees. "The company determined that he was not fit to serve as an executive, and removed him from all offices", the company statement said.
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