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11 Jan, 2019 12:59

Tit for tat? France investigates Japan’s Olympic boss as Japan charges French ex-CEO of Nissan

Tit for tat? France investigates Japan’s Olympic boss as Japan charges French ex-CEO of Nissan

Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of Japan’s Olympic Committee, is under investigation on corruption charges in France. He was questioned the same day as Japan charged Nissan's ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn with financial misconduct.

Takeda is suspected of corruption in the 2013 vote that won Tokyo the right to host the 2020 Olympics. His clandestine negotiations with African members of the International Olympic Committee allegedly helped Japan secure the victory, according to the French paper Le Monde, who first reported on Takeda’s case.

While Le Monde initially reported Takeda had been indicted, Takeda himself has denied it in a statement. He said he had taken “no improper action” in connection with the 2020 bid, and promised to cooperate with the investigation. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has opened its own ethics probe into Takeda.


Takeda, a 71-year-old former Olympic equestrian and great-grandson of Emperor Meiji, was questioned in France in December after a three-year long investigation. It is so far unclear why French prosecutors made the move at that particular time, but it came on the same day that Japan charged French business powerhouse Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Japanese automaker Nissan, with financial misconduct. Ghosn is being accused of under-reporting his income by 5 billion yen ($44 million).

Ghosn’s case puts to the test the French control over the carmaking alliance between Nissan and Renault. Having held executive posts in both companies and credited with saving both from near bankruptcy in the late 1990s, Ghosn has been the alliance’s de facto leader and middleman with the French government.

Also on rt.com Renault-Nissan boss arrest blows up into conflict between France & Japan ahead of G20

Renault, partly owned by Paris, currently holds enough Nissan stakes to ensure a voting majority in shareholder meetings. The case was deemed serious enough for French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene on Ghosn’s behalf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The two spoke about “preserving stability” within the alliance at the G20 meeting in November, shortly after Ghosn’s initial arrest.

The meeting, however, failed to prevent the charges against Ghosn: in addition to the ones leveled in December, he has now been charged with misleading investors and transferring personal losses to Nissan.

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