During a news conference on June 19, 2015, Shigeru Hayakawa, the senior
managing officer for Toyota Motor Corp. showed his unwavering support
for the company’s first female executive, Julie Hamp.
Hayakawa made it clear that he didn’t believe that Hamp intentionally
broke Japanese law, the day after she was arrested for allegedly importing
a controlled substance.
Global Communications Chief Julie Hamp was arrested on Thursday for allegedly
sending herself narcotic painkillers through the mail. Her innocence was
vigorously defended by the president of Toyota Motor Corp, Akio Toyoda.
Hamp, 55, formerly held the position of head of communications in North
America, and she handled information regarding Toyota’s move to
Plano. Now based in Japan, Hamp is the company’s first female upper-level
Akio Toyoda describes Hamp as a “close friend.” He said that
is confident that she will be exonerated once the investigation is completed.
In a press conference, Toyoda described Hamp as an invaluable team member.
He is confident that once the investigation is complete, it will be revealed
that there was no intention on Hamp’s part to violate Japan’s laws.
Hamp mailed a package to herself from the U.S. to Japan via airmail. In
the package, customs officials found Oxycodone. The drugs appeared to
be hidden throughout a jewelry box, according to reports from the Japanese media.
While people can obtain prescriptions for Oxycodone in the U.S. and Japan,
under Japanese law, its import is heavily regulated.
Whether Hamp had a valid prescription for Oxycodone for a medical condition
is unclear, and officials from Toyota declined to comment about it.
According to Japanese police, Hamp, who is a former PepsiCo and General
Motors executive, told Japanese authorities that she wasn’t aware
that she had imported an illegal substance.
Hamp started working for Toyota three years ago, and as of April, she accepted
the position of managing officer and chief communications officer for
Toyota Motor Corp. in Japan.
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