Japanese sushi chain sues teen for $480,000 for licking soy sauce bottle

Japanese sushi chain sues teen for $480,000 for licking soy sauce bottleJapanese sushi chain sues teen for $480,000 for licking soy sauce bottle
Michelle De Pacina
June 13, 2023
A restaurant chain in Japan is suing a high school student for 67 million yen (approximately $480,000) for contaminating conveyor belt sushi as part of a “sushi terrorism” prank.
The prank: In the now-deleted 48-second viral clip, the Japanese student can be seen at an Akindo Sushiro branch in Gifu prefecture licking a soy sauce bottle and a clean cup before placing them back in a communal pile. The teen anxiously looks around and proceeds to touch sushi circling on the conveyor belts after licking his finger.  
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Sushi terrorism: The original video upload was reportedly viewed over 22 million times before it was taken down. Twitter users re-uploaded the clip earlier this year, and it was soon followed by other people pulling similar acts at sushi restaurants. The pranks have come to be known as “sushi terrorism,” a trend wherein individuals film themselves purposely tampering with food or utensils.  
Official complaint: Food & Life Companies Ltd., the restaurant chain’s parent firm, filed an official complaint in January, prompting the student and his guardian to come forward and directly apologize to the company. 
However, the company promised to “continue to respond strictly in both a civil and criminal capacity.” Making good on its promise, Food & Life Co. is moving forward with a lawsuit demanding 67 million yen (approximately $480,000) in compensation. 
Company losses: The company’s sales and shares reportedly saw a significant drop as a result of the prank trend, with losses amounting to 16 billion yen (approximately $144.3 million) when its shares fell 4.8% on Jan. 31.
Akindo Sushiro was forced to suspend conveyor belts in their branches and instead offer touch panels for diners to place direct orders. To deter the “sushi terrorism” trend, the chain also reportedly added acrylic screens at some outlets. With the compensation they are seeking from the teen, the company would reportedly provide new seasonings and cutlery to its restaurants.
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