Akio Toyoda backs exec Julie Hamp after drug-related arrest

Akio Toyoda, president of the Japanese automaker that bears his name, is personally backing Julie Hamp, the American businesswoman who was hired to run Toyota‘s global PR and reports directly to him, after she was arrested by police in Tokyo for the illegal importation of drugs into Japan.

“We are confident … that once the investigation is complete, it will be revealed there was no intention on Julie’s part to violate any law,” Toyoda said in a news conference, adding that the automaker was fully cooperating with Japanese authorities.

Investigators found 57 oxycodone pills in a package sent to Hamp, who claims she did not know the substance was illegal to import into Japan. According to Automotive News, citing Reuters, a lawyer in Japan who is not directly involved with the case claims Hemp could face years in prison if found guilty, after which she would be deported back to the US.

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