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Japan’s foreign minister distances himself from comments by Nissan’s lawyer to Lebanon

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi denies implementing actions that would further destabilize Lebanon’s economy at a Press Conference, June. 2, 2020. (ANJP)
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi denies implementing actions that would further destabilize Lebanon’s economy at a Press Conference, June. 2, 2020. (ANJP)
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02 Jun 2020 04:06:59 GMT9
02 Jun 2020 04:06:59 GMT9

Arab News Japan

In a Press Conference at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi was asked by Arab News Japan about Japan linking its agreement to the IMF bailout of Lebanon with the extradition of Carlos Ghosn.

Motegi distanced himself from the comments made by Nissan's lawyer to Lebanon that linked the IMF bailout package with Ghosn by saying that Japan would not further destabilize Lebanon’s economy, where an influx of Syrian refugees need support.

“With the influx of Syrian refugees, the economic crisis, and the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic Lebanon is facing, as well as considering the overall situation of the Middle East, we should avoid, at the moment, any situation that would make Lebanon more unstable,” Motegi said.

There was no immediate comment from Nissan, despite efforts taken to contact the company.  

In an article published by Arab News Japan on Saturday, Sakher El Hachem, Nissan’s legal representative in Lebanon, said the multibillion-dollar IMF bailout was contingent on Ghosn being handed back to Japan. 

The lawyer said IMF support for Lebanon required Japan’s agreement. Lebanese officials had told him: “Japan will assist Lebanon if Ghosn gets extradited,” El Hachem said.

“For Japan to agree on that they want the Lebanese authorities to extradite Ghosn, otherwise they won’t provide Lebanon with financial assistance. Japan is one of the IMF’s major contributors … if Japan vetoes Lebanon then the IMF won’t give Lebanon money, except after deporting Ghosn,” El Hachem added.

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