Ghosn Says Japan Failing to Curb Yen Shows Jobs Not Top Priority

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., said Japan faces a “hollowing out” of its industrial base should the government fail to take steps to counter the yen’s rise.

“I have spoken to the prime minister about this directly,” Ghosn said in an interview from Rio de Janeiro yesterday after Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan announced a new $1.4 billion auto plant in Brazil. “If Japan wants employment, you’re going to have to do something about establishing a normal exchange rate.”

Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s three largest automakers, are shifting production overseas as the yen’s surge erodes the profitability of building cars in their home market. The nation’s currency has risen 5.7 percent this year against the dollar and touched a postwar high of 75.95. The government, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, last intervened to weaken the yen in August.

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