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Japanese Police Raid Toyota HQ Following Arrest of Top Exec

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/23/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Police raided Toyota's Toyota Employees May Move to Texas, Await Job Offers" target="_blank">headquarters in Japan less than a week after the arrest of global communications chief Julie Hamp (pictured above), the Asahi newspaper reported today. Toyota's first female senior executive is being detained on suspicion that she illegally imported painkillers from the U.S. to Japan.

Toyota Global Communications Chief Julie Hamp© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota Global Communications Chief Julie Hamp

Hamp, who moved to Japan when she was promoted to her current position just two months ago, reportedly told police she brought in the drugs to treat pain in her knees. A police spokesman confirms that Oxycodone was mailed to her on June 8, and reports by Japan's NHK national broadcaster claim the package contained 57 pills. The parcel arrived at Japan's Narita airport on June 11, and after the discovery, authorities arrested her at a Tokyo hotel.

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Strict drug enforcement laws in Japan often catch U.S. citizens by surprise, and this wouldn't be the first time an arrest has been made for illegally importing drugs to the nation. Even over-the-counter cold medicines like Sudafed or Actifed that are common here in the U.S. are illegal to bring to Japan. Oxycodone, however, is one of the most restricted drugs in that nation, and only certain designated parties are allowed to import the drug. In the U.S., it is classified as a Schedule II substance. According to the FDA, Oxycodone, which is derived from opium, is used to treat patients who require around-the-clock medical management for moderate to severe pain.

While the investigation continues, Toyota is standing by Hamp during her difficult time. In a statement, the company said it was confident that the investigation will prove Hamp hadn't intended to break any laws. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda called her an "invaluable member" of the company, and also expressed regret that the company may not have done all it could to properly prepare her for relocation from the U.S. to Japan.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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