In an interview with DTiNews, Akito Tachibana, General Director of Toyota Vietnam, shares his perspective on legal proceedings against the company.
Toyota Vietnam general director Akito Tachibana (middle) at a conference on June 13
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Tach exposed some of Toyota Vietnam's technical flaws, in the Innova model, to the media, which led to recall of nearly 9,000 vehicles. Toyota Vietnam subsequently decided to suspend Tach for three months, during which time he received 50 per cent of his salary.
Previously the company has denied that this incident and the suspension were related.
He has recently filed a legal petition, in which he made a number of claims against the company.
What is your stance on Tach's two petitions for law suits against Toyota Vietnam and the proposed prosecution against you and others in the company?
Through the media, I know that Tach is not satisfied with the company’s disciplinary measures, and has begun court proceedings. However, to date, we have not received any information from authorities about the case.
How will Toyota Vietnam, and you personally, deal with the petition?
We will cooperate with authorities in every way according to Vietnamese law. As soon as we receive any request from authorities, we will submit any related documents or other evidence to them.
In the petition, Tach said that the company looked into his personal correspondence, including his personal emails, violating his privacy, for disciplinary purposes. Do you have any comment on this?
At Toyota Vietnam, all employees are provided with an email, @toyotavn.com.vn, in order to serve working communications. Toyota Vietnam has clear regulations concerning this. It is an email account that is given for work purposes and belongs to the company, not to Tach.
The company has never disseminated Tach’s personal information inside or outside the company. It was Tach that has disseminated his personal correspondence to the media.
Do you think, after Tach lodged his internal complaint at the end of last year, that it was handled properly? Was there anything you could have done to come to a more agreeable settlement?
We considered the decision very carefully. I have worked personally with Tach on a number of occasions after his petition was sent. After careful consideration, I and the management team decided to impose disciplinary measures in concordance with company regulations.
Do you believe that there is a third party at work here, trying to use this case to their advantage?
A number of people have made that claim; that somebody or some entity is backing Tach in order to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit. But, personally, I do not believe this. We shouldn't draw any conclusions for which there is no evidence.
Recently, Tach sent his petition against the company to the People’s Court in Vinh Phuc Province’s Phuc Yen Township, in which he claimed that general director Tachibana discriminated against him when he was suspended from work and then transferred to a lower position.
Tach also said in his petition that “Tachibana and his subordinates abused their power by accessing my private e-mail, intentionally fabricating and disseminating information to discredit me."