Toyota exec, American Julie Hamp, had sent herself oxycodone by mail when moving to Japan. That shipment was confiscated and she has been arrested for importing the drug by authorities in Japan.
An American executive for the Toyota Motor Company has been arrested in Japan for the heavy-duty pain killer oxycodone, which she had mailed to her new place in Japan from her U.S. home. Julie Hamp is the first foreign Toyota executive to be fully stationed in Japan and she is also Toyota’s first senior woman executive, reports Fox News on June 19.
Hamp’s new position came with a lot of fanfare as Toyota execs played up the car maker striving for diversity. This arrest came after a box shipped to Hamp’s new address was stopped and inspected. Inside a jewelry box Japan’s law enforcement agents found the oxycodone pills hidden in various pockets and compartments. The country makes no secret of its strict drug laws.
Japan’s officials even inform prospective visitors to their country on their website that Americans can be detained for bringing prescription drugs into their country that may be perfectly legal in the states. It is not known if Hamp has been released yet from authorities in Japan, but they can hold her up to 23 days without levying a charge.
According to The Wall Street Journal today, Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda is standing by Hamp. In a brief speech he said that he didn’t know all the facts of he case, but he believes Hamp had no idea she was breaking the law when importing the drugs into the country.
Toyoda also said that the company should have done more to prepare Hamp for her move to Japan. He appeared to put some of the blame on the Toyota Corporation because transitioning into this foreign country is not an easy feat. They could have helped her with the move by getting the special permission that is sometimes granted when banned drugs are needed.
If they had helped her get her medication setup with a pharmacy in Japan the outlawed drug would have been red flagged. Some type of legal alternative route to securing the medication could have possibly been put in place, which may have skirted this crime altogether.
This is a fairly big embarrassment for Toyota, which many believe it may be grounds for Hamp to lose her position, which is one she just started. In a country that prides itself on honor and tradition it appears Hamp who moved to Japan hadn’t informed herself on the customs and laws of the country, which may be seen as a bit of disrespect on her part.
Possession of a drug deemed illegal in Japan is a serious crime, which is what another American found out the hard way. Carrie Russell arrived in Japan as a teacher and her mother sent her the prescription medicine Adderall, which is a drug prescribed for attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Even though the drug is commonly used in the U.S. and it is prescribed by her doctor, Russell was thrown in jail for 18 days. Adderall contains amphetamines, which is a drug outlawed in Japan. As far as Hamp goes only time will tell what the authorities in Japan will do and the same goes for Toyota with her fairly new position in that country.