By on June 18, 2015

Julie Hamp TwitterToyota’s newly-minted Chief Communications Officer, Julie Hamp, has been arrested for allegedly accepting a package of Oxycodone through the mail at the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan that originated in the United States.

Hamp, who is the first female managing officer with Toyota, took the post in April after “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe … called on corporate Japan to appoint women to 30 percent of top jobs by 2020,” reports Reuters.

Toyota has released a statement in Hamp’s defence, saying, “Toyota has been made aware of Ms. Hamp’s arrest, but has no further facts in light of the ongoing investigation by the authorities. We are confident, however, that once the investigation is complete, it will be revealed that there was no intention by Ms. Hamp to violate any law.”

Ironically, Hamp’s Twitter account (left) features a quote that couldn’t be more fitting at this moment.

More as it develops.

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32 Comments on “Toyota’s Top PR Exec Arrested In Japan For Importing Hillbilly Heroin...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Thought that name sounded familiar, she was at GM for 25 yrs.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Hilarious. I imagine they actually enforce laws in Japan too, so she’s probably screwed.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Even against white people?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I imagine especially for the gaijin.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          In S. Korea it’s the opposite. They’d much rather enforce laws on their own people for doing things than any visiting foreigner “waygookin.” (American)

          The young policemen who walk down the street without guns and holding hands were always a bit intimidated when foreigners were around.

          Don’t worry, Koreans. We’re just Mid-Westerners and Canadians going to drink outside at the GS25.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I suppose the Japanese authorities feel differently. Unless of course this is just a catch and release program as we operate in the US when narcotics are ruled used for “personal consumption” and the suspect made a “victim”.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            She’s probably deemed one of the “more equals” even in Japan. Not one of the mere equals who needs to be made an example of.

        • 0 avatar
          Acubra

          It is the same as S. Korea. Or, to be precise, S.Korea is the same as Japan. A gaijin in Japan can get away with things that are unimaginable for a nihonjin. I know, I did.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Depends.

          White gaijins will be treated a good bit better than other types of gaijins, including Asians of other ethnicities.

          Japanese cops have been known to harass Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos, etc. in Japan (they don’t do that to white foreigners).

          But South Asians and blacks have it worse (for the most part).

          The Toyota exec got arrested b/c she broke a drug law (which the Japanese are serious about – which is why they had blocked entry of various rock stars in the past).

          Whites being treated better in Japan does not mean that they get away with serious crimes, just that they are generally treated better (given more respect) and not harassed like others.

          Also, Japanese police have a history of down-grading more serious crimes (i.e. – likely murder downgraded to suicide) since got to keep the crime stats down.

      • 0 avatar
        Powerlurker

        For drug laws? Absolutely. The Japanese are extremely serious about their drug laws as many a foreign musician has found out.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      It’s always interesting to read these comments, as they’re indicative of a type of cultural fundamental attribution error. There’s also the tendency of natives of English speaking nations (US, UK, Aus, Canada), which are essentially immigrant societies (with the exception of the UK), to apply a worldview built in a society where there are bunch of non-citizens and foreigners running around is a natural thing.

      Things gaijin and waegukins love talking about getting away with getting away with minor traffic infractions, as if it’s something unique to Japan or Korea. No, if you were an American driving in Italy or Germany, especially in a US government or US personal plates, there’s a good chance the cop’s not going to want to deal with the paperwork, either. I’ve been through traffic and non traffic incidents many a time with local law enforcement all over the world, Europe included.

      My favorite incident was when we got signaled over to pull over between Checkpoint Alpha and Bravo on the road to West Berlin (dating myself). The East German police at the stop pretty much freaked out when he saw our plates (personal vehicle, but US issue plates) and while we were flipping through our procedure book (which calls for holding signs up through the window for them to call Soviet military police out), the officer gradually started making more and more emphatic gestures, pretty much eventually flapping his arms in a way to may clear in no uncertain terms that he wanted us to get the fuck out of his traffic stop, right the fuck now.

      BTW, if you’re not “brown,” you can totally pull the dumb foreigner card and get away with it in the US, as well. I’ve had visiting Korean and Japanese relatives get away with ridiculous shit in rental cars with their International Driving Permits, like saying in intentionally broken English that they thought the I-95 sign was the speeding limit.

      • 0 avatar
        ccode81

        Totally agree on you from my own experience…

        Now for this topic, local media are enjoying sensational articles of “that Toyota”‘s board member is arrested. She being foreigner is just an optional element.
        Police was nice as well to carry her in a Nissan minivan rather than a car from own company.
        So far comments from Toyota sounds very supportive and I respect the way treating colleagues than immediately firing.

        Parcel was posted by herself from some airport in Kentuckey, to answer some of questions here.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        There’s a certain portion of white expats who like to complain about not having equal treatment in various Asian countries, but for the most part, white foreigners get the white glove treatment compared to foreigners of another race, including Asians of a different ethnicity.

        In Korea and Japan, whites get treated better than ethnic Koreans and Japanese from other countries (i.e. – ethnic Koreans from China/North Korea or ethnic Japanese from Brazil/Chile).

        But then again, go to pretty much any part of the world – South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, etc. and one will be treated differently if one is white as opposed to being a person of color.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      She was arrested and is going to get deported because they caught her red handed.

      The Japanese National Police have been going after mailed prescription meds for a while. This is well known among the younger expats since expats have been getting pegged for having prescription meds that are illegal in Japan, namely Adderall, mailed to them.

      Opiates are highly restricted in Japan. Prescriptions for opiates, such as Oxy, Hydro, codeine, etc are rarely written and generally cannot be filled at run of the mill neighborhood pharmacies and can only be obtained at specially licensed ones and/or at internal pharmacy on the hospital/clinic premises.

      I find it very likely that Ms. Hamp knew about the Oxycontin restriction. If she didn’t know and just had Oxy mailed to her in its original packaging, Customs would have just confiscated the goods, informed the receiver to tell them not to do it again. OTOH, when you attempt to disguise the goods, such as placing them in an unmarked container, container for other meds, vitamin bottles, so on, this is taken as a sign of criminal intent and they start arresting people.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Per Reuters, it looks like Miss Hamp is boned.

        “Japanese media reports, citing police investigators, said 57 addictive Oxycodone pills were found in a small parcel labeled “necklaces” that was sent from the United States and addressed to Hamp in Japan. The pills were in packets or buried at the bottom of the parcel, which also contained toy pendants and necklaces, they said.”

        “Hiroaki Okamoto, a criminal defense lawyer at the Nakamura International Criminal Defense Office in Tokyo who is not involved in Hamp’s case, said the large number of pills meant that, if indicted, she could face years in prison, followed by deportation.

        The maximum sentence for smuggling drugs with the intent to sell is life in prison, he said. Even if indicted for smuggling for personal use, it would be tough to get a suspended sentence because of the large number of pills, he said.”

        My favorite part though is this:

        “Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized for the incident at a news conference and reiterated the company’s belief that Hamp had no intent of breaking the law.

        “To me, executives and staff who are my direct reports are like my children,” he said.

        “It’s the responsibility of a parent to protect his children and, if a child causes problems, it’s also a parent’s responsibility to apologize.””

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/us-toyota-executive-arrest-idUSKBN0OY14S20150619

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “The maximum sentence for smuggling drugs with the intent to sell is life in prison, he said. Even if indicted for smuggling for personal use, it would be tough to get a suspended sentence because of the large number of pills, he said.”

          57 oxycodone pills is known as “a day’s ration” in some parts of Florida or Appalachia.

          Rumor has it Ms. Hamp was actually tasked with the soon to be rolled out “Win an Oxycodone Pill A Day In Your Glovebox” lease promotion for certain Toyota models.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Asian countries tend to be real serious about drugs.

        A good no. of celebrities have ruined their careers due to being caught for illegal drugs whereas here, a stint in rehab and all is fine.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Governments need to scale back the witch hunt for pill poppers. They make these drugs legal, despite their addictive qualities, to make drug companies happy. Then they crack down on doctors and patients, many of whom intended no illegal activity.

    Ease up. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even get family members to write me prescriptions for pain narcotics when I have a legitimate injury. Too dangerous these days, they say, to issue prescriptions to relatives. What’s the point of putting up with family of smug medical practitioners, if I can’t even get a fast pass to the pharmacy?

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      To be fair to the authorities, prescriptions have become a huge and very dangerous segment of drug abuse, particularly because it’s easy to become addicted through legal use.

      That said, enforcement is kind of sketchy sometimes. Good prosecutors exercise discretion, but some are way too intent on punishing people who didn’t mean to do anything wrong.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “allegedly accepting a package of Oxycodone through the mail at the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan that originated in the United States.”

    Do they have personal mailboxes in airports in Japan? Sounds strange unless it was a personal pickup at Customs. Easy to set up anyone by sending a contraband parcel to them from overseas. Anyone at all can be screwed that way.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I thought about this angle as well. Write the return address of someone the recipient knows, etc – and boom set up.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Seems like one heck of an expensive and complicated setup. This is a whole nother level beyond compromising pictures with an entertainer at a Christmas party.

      I’ll assume she’s well compensated, so the whole move plot-like “one last big score” explanation seems really unlikely. It would be particularly sad if this were just to feed a personal addiction.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice find with the quote. Ask forgiveness, not permission would have been equally ironic.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The photo just changed between comments. She now looks more human and less buttoned-up, and less executive-in-Japan. Go back to the old photo!

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    It’s no longer enough to just be a Coffee Achiever.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Awkward!

  • avatar
    kkop

    ‘More as it develops.’

    Really? This is what TTAC is about now?

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Japan has one of the most restrictive medical systems in the world. And by restrictive I don’t mean “prohibitive” but what the yanks would call “anti-competitive.”

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I don’t think the great Kate Hepburn was into heroin or drugs unlike some other stars of the era. Probably just enjoyed a nice cocktail.

    Apparently she was more of a Ford fan.

    http://balanceandspice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/IMG_1934.jpg

    http://hollywooddreamland.blogspot.com/2009/05/wanted-katharine-hepburn-in-car-circa.html

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