Macron and Abe seek to avert Renault-Nissan row

Europe Materials 1 December 2018 03:58 (UTC +04:00)

France and Japan’s leaders met for bilateral talks to avert a diplomatic row over the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance on Friday following the surprise arrest of its Chairman Carlos Ghosn in Japan, Reuters reports.

With the carmaking alliance facing its biggest test after the ousting of Ghosn as chairman of Nissan (7201.T) and affiliate Mitsubishi (7211.T) over financial misconduct allegations, President Emmanuel Macron sat down with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Ghosn’s arrest to face accusations including the under-reporting of income has triggered new attempts by Nissan to weaken Renault’s control of the Franco-Japanese alliance, adding to challenges facing Macron at home.

Macron, whose government has repeatedly pressed Japan to share evidence unearthed by Nissan’s internal investigation into Ghosn, “restated his firm wish that the alliance should be preserved, along with the stability of the group”, an Elysee official said after Friday’s meeting with Abe.

Abe said it was important to “maintain a stable relationship”, according to a spokesman for the Japanese leader.

“However, he said the future of the alliance is up to the private-sector shareholders. The government of Japan does not prejudge the future of the alliance,” the spokesman said.

The French official quoted Abe as telling Macron that “the legal process must be allowed to take its course.”