TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Fallen auto executive Carlos Ghosn almost bumped into Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an upscale Tokyo hotel as he set out on a daring escape from a looming trial for financial misconduct, according to reports by Japanese media.
Public broadcaster NHK showed a map of Ghosn's movements after he left his house in the Japanese capital at about 2.30pm on Dec 29, indicating he met up with collaborators at the Grand Hyatt in Tokyo's Roppongi area.
He later left the hotel to catch a 4.30pm train to Osaka on the next leg of his odyssey, the broadcaster said, citing surveillance camera footage examined by investigators.
Shortly after, Abe checked in to the same hotel for his annual New Year break at about 5.30pm, according to detailed schedules published by Jiji Press and other Japanese media.
Broadcaster BS Fuji cited investigative sources as saying Ghosn was not disguised beyond wearing a hat and surgical mask, and was recognisable in the images.
Ghosn's escape, which played out like a movie script as he made his way to a private jet at Kansai International Airport that took him to Lebanon via Turkey, is an embarrassing episode for Abe and his government.
Japan's criminal justice system was already facing scrutiny following the auto executive's November 2018 arrest and almost 130 days of detention.