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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Ghosn's disguise as workman riles companies unwittingly involved

Lawyer apologizes after failed ploy to hide former executive's exit from jail

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves the Tokyo Detention Center disguised as a construction worker on March 6. (Nikkei montage)

TOKYO -- Carlos Ghosn once enjoyed the status of a hero in Japan for turning round Nissan Motor. But when the carmaker's former chairman walked out of a Tokyo jail on March 6 disguised as a workman, the companies who saw their brands displayed on his overalls, cap and car were not pleased.

"We are concerned that there could be reputational risk," said Hiroshi Nakamura, president of Nakamura Kogyo, a specialist construction company whose work van was used to carry Japan's most famous defendant to a secret location after he was released on bail. Clients might think his company was an ally of Ghosn, he said. "We may need to think about some kind of legal action if there is any impact," Nakamura said.

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