A restaurant in Japan says it will take legal action against a student who was videoed licking his fingers and then touching its conveyor belt sushi.
The Instagram Stories video, which is no longer available for viewing, shows a young student directly licking a soy sauce bottle and a cup before placing it back. Anxiously looking around, the boy continues by sucking on his finger and using it to touch sushi circling on the conveyor belts.
At the end of the 48-second clip, the student can be seen smiling and giving a thumbs up. The video was reportedly viewed over 22 million times.
Although the original video has been taken down, Twitter users re-uploaded the viral video. One Twitter user also re-uploaded the clip alongside other videos of people doing similar acts on Sunday, such as eating sushi off of the conveyor belt and touching the food with their used utensils. The tweet quickly reached 1,233 retweets and 2,305 likes as of this writing.
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The converter belt sushi restaurant was revealed to be an Akindo Sushiro location in Japan’s Gifu prefecture.
In response, Food & Life Companies Ltd., the restaurant chain’s parent firm, declared on Monday that they will take action, from both criminal and civil perspectives, with the help of the police, according to the Mainichi Shimbun. An official complaint was filed on Tuesday.
“We have implemented thorough disinfection and disposal of soy sauce bottles in the store where the incident apparently occurred,” the company told the Mainichi. “We’d like to consult with police after conducting a thorough internal investigation. We consider the incident a serious matter causing anxiety among our customers. We hope that those involved in the case will take full responsibility for their actions.
In light of the case, the student in the video and their guardian have come forward to directly apologize to the company, Kyodo reports. The apology — as well as the student’s school photo and the viral video — was uploaded onto Twitter by user @AmotoPowerrrrr on Tuesday.
The tweet has been retweeted 4,310 times and has 11,000 likes as of this writing.
Despite the apology, the company will “continue to respond strictly in both a civil and criminal capacity.”