Toyota’s Julie Hamp to Be Released from Custody

Sources say she will most likely not be charged.

In what appears to be the end of a very unfortunate international drama, various sources report that Toyota’s PR chief Julie Hamp will almost certainly be released from custody in Japan without facing any charges.

After she was arrested on suspicion of smuggling controlled substances into the country, Toyota President Akio Toyoda assured attendees at a press conference that “…we will learn that she had no intent to violate the law.”

Japanese authorities seem to agree.

The Japan Times adds a bit of much-needed context to the story:

“The prosecutors apparently judged that she had relatively little bad intent as Hamp asked her family to send oxycodone pills to her to relieve her knee pain.

According to sources, Hamp told the prosecutors that she knew oxycodone is a drug regulated in the country.

However, she denied the charge, saying she did not think oxycodone was a narcotic.

The package containing the tablets was declared to contain necklaces. It did contain items including plastic necklaces, but the tablets were placed in the bottom of the package.”

The narrative remains slightly confusing, since Hamp’s father says that he mailed his daughter “the drug prescribed to him to Japan.”

An interesting op-ed that appeared earlier in the week in The Japan Times notes that “the country has a conviction rate that exceeds 99 percent” and that “once prosecutors have filed formal charges, a guilty verdict is almost certain.”

The piece also tells us that Japanese police did not care for Toyoda’s statement calling Hamp one of his “children” and that they raided the company’s offices after her arrest last month.

She did not confess as author Jake Adelstein predicted. Unfortunately, she did resign from her new position in what now seems like an attempt by the company to save face amidst a series of damaging headlines in its home country.

If nothing else, her story may serve as a cautionary tale for executives accepting overseas assignments.

Image via Reuters/Kyodo