Can't finish your sentence for you... Nissan is like... um... Renault? :D
But at any rate, I agree that Mazda is as close to a Japanese Lotus as you can get. (Eerie coincidence that a Lotus is a japanese flower?)
Case in point: Mazda Miata. A Lotus Elan where bits don't fall off.
Comparison here that reveals lots of similarities:
Mazda's design philosophies (keep it light and in tune with the road) are in-line with Lotus. Thank goodness.