Ex-Toyota exec Hamp


I wrote about this case in the past but a former chief communication officer of Toyota Headquarter resigned from her position formally. She was arrested for allegedly importing controlled pain medicine from America. Her father sent a package which was labeled as neckless but it also contained 57 oxycodone pills.

This case drew a lot of media attention in Japan because Julie Hamp was the first female executive and this was part of Toyota’s diversity initiatives.  I think the Japanese drug enforcement was pretty ridiculous as they raided the Toyota headquarter to see if they could find any evidence of criminal activities involving this case.

It turned out that her father had mailed the medications because of her knee pain and there was no criminal intent. So charges were dropped. But what’s the consequence? Ms. Hamp had to resign from her position. Japan is a very collective society and many companies still maintain a life time employment system. When an employee gets into trouble, the entire company can suffer from the consequences so the president of Toyota had to apologize for this trouble before the media.

American people would probably say “That is not company’s responsibility!” and it is hard to understand why the Toyota president had to apologize for an individual’s personal issue. But reputation is very important and that is why Japan is a very stressful society.

She drew a lot of media attention for being the first woman executive of Toyota in Japan. It is hard to believe that she didn’t know it was against the Japanese law to have someone mail controlled substances to Japan. And the medication was not prescribed for her.

She says she needed the medications for her knee pain but yes oxycodone is a very powerful medication that isn’t prescribed easily. I was prescribed the medication after my brain surgery. I was refusing to take it and was trying to just take the tylenol or ibuprofin but the pain was causing a lot of headaches so I had to take it to reduce the physical stress. I stopped taking the medication as soon as the doctor had sent me home and switched to ibuprofin because oxycodone was too strong.

Ms. Hamp suffered the social consequence of her careless act and hopefully she will get a second chance in the U.S. She had to resign from the company simply because Japan is all about reputation. This is how bad it is..I remember one popular idol group member got arrested for something and the record management had to issue a public apology, pulling out the group’s record and the idol group had to apologize on behalf of one member and they all suffered as a group.

This is exactly what happened to this woman executive. Ever since I’ve lived in America, I had to kind of abandon the old way of thinking simply because I would have been very unhappy and stressed out otherwise. Nobody really cares about the reputation here and we just have to look out for our own wellbeing. We don’t owe anything to our employers and people that I know are always looking for better opportunities that help us grow as individuals and of course more money. It is very cut and dry..

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