As you know, we had to make a lot of changes in Nissan. Any one of the many changes that we have done would have been headline news in Japan. I received a lot of advice when I arrived from outside people — Japanese and non-Japanese — saying, “You know, there are a lot of things in Japan that you can’t do. You can’t close a plant. You can’t reduce head count. You can’t unwind cross shareholding. You have to respect the keiretsu. You have to respect the seniority system. You have to guarantee lifetime employment.” You know, a list probably of about 80 or 90 things not to do in Japan. And I was very quickly faced with a situation. I accept all this advice and I have to pack my luggage and go back to Paris and just let somebody else get a shot at it, or I’m going to have to transgress many of these advices.

On October 18, 1999, when I announced the Nissan development plan, I went against the 80 advices which were given to me, and in fact, the plan shocked Japan, because a lot of old way of doing things were really not respected into the plan.  But I think what made the public, in general, wait and see or give us the benefit of the doubt is there were some commitments behind it. These commitments involved top management more than anybody else in the company. That’s what gave us a little bit of a benefit of the doubt. And then when the results started to pour in, and people started to see transformation of the company — and transformation of the company shows first in the employees of the company, because they speak about the company more than anything else.