Canadian Manufacturing

Ex-Toyota exec Julie Hamp to be released, Kyodo reports

Agency says prosecutors will not indict Hamp on drug charges

TOKYO—The ordeal may finally be over for embattled ex-Toyota executive Julie Hamp.

Japanese news agency Kyodo has reported that the former head of corporate communications for Toyota will be released without being indicted July 8 when the term of her detention expires. Hamp has been in prison on alleged drug charges since June 18, and she must either be charged or released by Wednesday.

The news follows Hamp’s resignation from her post at Toyota last week. She was the highest ranking woman in Toyota’s history, but spent only several months on the job after being promoted from head of North American communications in March.

Though Toyota initially stood with Hamp after her arrest, the company accepted her resignation last week, after considering “the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders.”

Despite the incident, Toyota added last week that it remains committed to putting the right people in the right places, regardless of nationality, gender, age and other factors.

In not pushing for an indictment, Kyodo News reported that prosecutors “appeared” to take into account that Hamp’s actions were not malicious and that she already resigned from her position at Toyota.

The fallout from the arrest has already raised questions about Japan’s male-dominated corporate culture and drug policies. Her release without charges would likely lead to further scrutiny of how the company and Japanese authorities handled the situation.

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