Sunday, June 21, 2015

In re rumors: Some anonymous Japanese rumors about the background to the Julie Hamp oxycodone scandal

Detention cells in a Tokyo police station.

Interrogation room (mock-up for movie, presumed accurate...)

Court house and prosecutor's office in Kasumigaseki , central Tokyo.
(I don't know if this is the place where Julie was taken in the police van on Friday, 
but at least one other foreign prisoner ("George") was taken here.)

So far, there are no reports of additional leaks from the investigators. It is Sunday, after all, and the senior people may have had the day off... 
Meanwhile, there is some commentary emerging, spiced with conspiracy theories about what is really going on behind the scenes, the motives of the police in making the arrest, and so forth. 
I am deluged today with translations related to other crimes, so I can't translate all of this article, but let me summarize some of its key points. I don't endorse them, am just conveying them. The anonymous sources from the government and from the industry appear to be in positions to spread rumors and opinions:

  • In the background is the U.S. - Japan stress and strain over the recent issuance of special shares by Toyota, which were widely criticized.
  • Details are reported about the hidden tablets: of the 57 tablets, 39 tablets were laid on the bottom of the box, 13 tablets placed in a pendant case, and 5 tablets were found in a paper bag. [pretty obviously intentional, eh?]
  • Julie is to be tested for drug use with a urine sample [Toyota factory workers, rejoice that at least the police are doing what Toyota itself may have failed to do]
  • Arrest motive: Either suspect Hamp was really an addict, or there are whispers that the motive was harassment of Toyota by the US government that did not permit the cover-up of this affair [...really??]
  • Even though one would think Toyota's huge political power in Japan would enable this affair to be quashed, the US pressure behind the scenes did not allow that.
  • The US and Japanese police are close and friendly ("a honeymoon relationship") and there are aspects of their work that are beyond the influence of the government.
  • The only act that was considerate of Toyota was that the arrest was made only on the day after the shareholders' meeting.
  • There is an immeasurably huge shock from the scandal caused by this first foreign female executive.
The Twitter feed from "Hamp" in Japanese includes a couple individual comments that Julie may have grounds to sue Toyota, but she ought to do it in the U.S.  I presume the tweet writers mean that Toyota appears to have been negligent in not fully briefing Julie about Japanese law. 
Another commentator observed that he would not be surprised if clever US lawyers have not already been scheming to sue Toyota on behalf of the entire United States[!]
[repeat: I am not endorsing these views, I am just a translator...]