Toyota chief Akio Toyoda apologized today for the uproar triggered by the arrest of PR chief Julie Hamp on suspicion of bringing illegal drugs into the country.
Confident that Hamp didn't deliberately break for law, Toyoda said the automaker should have taken a more active role in helping her relocate from California to Japan.
He apologized and bowed at the press conference, saying Hamp "is an indispensable and precious teammate. I believe that we will learn that she had no intent to violate the law."
Japanese customs agents allegedly found the oxycodone painkiller, which is illegal in Japan, in a package that Hamp had mailed to herself.
The Associated Press called Hamp's arrest a "high-profile stumble of a media-savvy executive" and an "embarrassment to the world's top-selling automaker."
The 55-year-old Hamp is Toyota's first female top executive.