Toyota Executive Released From Japan Custody

Julie Hamp, one of Toyota’s highest ranking female executives, was released from custody without charges on Wednesday in Japan. The Toyota executive resigned last week from Toyota Motor Corp., according to Fox News, and was arrested on June 18 on suspicion of importing oxycodone.

Prosecutors said that the Toyota executive arranged with her father to have 57 oxycodone pills sent air mail from the U.S. to a Tokyo hotel back in June, the pills hidden in the package. Although this is an act of importation of a narcotic, they decided not to pursue charges. Japanese prosecutors do not have to publicly explain why they made the decision they did.

The drug tends to be prescribed to people who suffer from chronic pain, but it is illegal to bring into Japan without the government’s permission.

Caroline Kennedy had a helping hand in getting the Toyota executive out of jail; she advised Toyota officials and discussed various matters with Japanese authorities. Kennedy is the U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to USA Today. As soon as Hamp was released, she jumped on a plane back to the United States.

In an email to USA Today, Toyota spokesperson Scott Vazin said,

“The company had nothing to add at this time other than our appreciation of her [Kennedy’s] support.”

Toyota also defended Hamp when this all went down, saying she did not know she was breaking Japanese law and accepted blame for not properly educating its Toyota executives about transitioning to Japanese law. Toyota initially did not want Hamp to step down from her position but began to believe it was the only route they could take to resolve the problem.

Michelle Krebs, a friend of the Toyota executive, said,

“Friends in the industry and here in Detroit-Many of them women, have supported her throughout, at least quietly. We haven’t been able to contact her. We’re very relieved that she is out and we’re really looking forward to what she’s going to do next because I think she will have career opportunities.”

Krebs continued to speak on the Toyota executive,

“She’s tough, she’s very calm and measured. I’ve never seen her get upset, get angry. Anybody will tell you that’s ever worked with her, she has a very high level of integrity and honesty.”

[Photo by Jiji Press/ Getty Images]