Japan eyes extradition of Americans linked to Carlos Ghosn case

Japanese officials want to extradite two Americans accused of helping ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn make his dramatic escape from Tokyo.

Japan is getting ready to formally request the extradition of ex-Green Beret Michael Taylor, 59, and his son, Peter Taylor, according to reports. US authorities arrested the pair at Japan’s request Wednesday.

“We are making preparations including working to cooperate on a speedy extradition,” Japanese chief cabinet officer Yoshihide Suga told reporters Thursday. Japan has 45 days to prepare extradition papers, according to US court records.

The father-son duo is accused of helping execute an elaborate plot to ferry Ghosn from Tokyo to Beirut while he was out on bail awaiting trial on financial-crime charges.

The former auto honcho, 66, allegedly made part of the trip stuffed inside a black audio equipment box. He’s been hiding out since late December in Lebanon, saying he fled “persecution.”

Officials in Japan are communicating closely with the US following the Taylors’ arrests, a Japanese government source told Reuters. Authorities nabbed Peter Taylor, 27, on the same day that he planned to fly from Boston to Beirut, according to court documents.

Carlos Ghosn
Carlos GhosnAP

A lawyer for the Taylors, Paul Kelly, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning. But he told the South China Morning Post that he planned to fight an extradition request.

“Michael Taylor is a distinguished veteran and patriot, and both he and his son deserve a full and fair hearing regarding these issues, both before the courts and the executive branch,” Kelly told the outlet.

The Taylors appeared before a federal judge by videoconference Wednesday afternoon. Federal prosecutors want them jailed while they face extradition, saying they have an “aptitude for hatching escape plans on a grand scale.”

With Post wires