TOKYO, July 8 (UPI) -- Toyoto's highest ranking female executive was released from prison without charges Wednesday after allegations she imported painkillers into the country without permission.
Julie Hamp, head of public relations at the Japanese automaker, walked out of a Tokyo police building Wednesday, weeks after her June 18 arrest on suspicion of importing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone, a tightly controlled substance in Japan.
Suspects, in Japan, can be held for up to 23 days without charges or the possibility of bail.
Prosecutors said they had enough evidence to charge Hamp but felt justice had otherwise been served. They added that Hamp arranged with her father to have 57 oxycodone pills sent air mail from the United States to a Tokyo hotel in June, which is illegal in the country. Hamp, a 55-year-old American, resigned June 30 amid the allegations.
"She has already gone through a certain level of social punishment," an official from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office told the Wall Street Journal, adding prosecutors took her resignation into consideration.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda defended Hamp throughout the incident, calling her an important member of the Toyota team and a close friend. Hamp was appointed three months ago as head of public relations at the world's biggest automaker as the first non-Japanese Toyota executive to be based in Japan.
Toyota named Shigeru Hayakawa, a senior managing officer and board member, as Hamp's replacement. Hamp is free to return to the U.S. without a formal criminal record.