The case against former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn could damage Japan's reputation as a place to do business, according to the veteran lawyer leading his defense team who maintains he is certain his client is innocent.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Junichiro Hironaka said as with the world closely watching developments in the case, he is concerned it "could signal that Japan is unpredictable and excessive in what it allows authorities to do to individuals, in terms of conducting business."

"For the rest of the world I think the case could leave the shocking impression that in Japan, even in a matter that should be discussed and handled internally by a company, such proceedings could turn into a criminal case and one could be detained out of the blue," Hironaka told reporters at his first media appearance since his appointment.