TOKYO—Toyota's highest-ranking female executive was arrested at a Tokyo hotel on Thursday for allegedly importing a painkiller that is illegal under Japan's strict drug laws, reports said Thursday.
The charges against American Julie Hamp came after customs agents last week found 57 tablets containing oxycodone in a parcel sent to her, according to reports by the Asahi newspaper and public broadcaster NHK.
Hamp, 55, said she did not believe she was committing a crime, the reports said.
Hamp is Toyota's chief communications officer and is based in Tokyo, according to her bio on Toyota's website. She leads Toyota's global communications efforts, with responsibility for public affairs and overseas external affair. Previously, she was chief communications officer for Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), responsible for marketing, product and brand communications for the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands, corporate reputation, stakeholder engagement, investor relations and sales communications, manufacturing communications and corporate advertising.
Police and Toyota both declined to comment Thursday.
Japanese drug laws ban some medications commonly available in other countries while jail time for possession of illegal narcotics such as cocaine or methamphetamine is not uncommon.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015