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Japanese police arrest participants of ‘sushi terrorism’ that have sparked biz and public concerns

Three people have been arrested in Japan for an alleged crime that has been labeled as “sushi terrorism.”

In a viral video, a man is seen licking a soy sauce bottle and putting it back aboard a sushi conveyor inside a Japanese restaurant, which sent people into outrage. He can also be seen squashing sushi dishes.

One of the restaurants affected, Kura Sushi, stated that the perpetrators were involved in an extremely “malicious nuisance” at its Nagoya branch last February 3.

“We hope that the recent arrests will allow the public to recognize that actions which undermine our trust-based structure for our customers is a ‘crime,'” the chain wrote in a statement.

Apart from the said video, other similar videos have started to surface, sparking public concern.

Some of the incidents reported include diners, a lot of whom are children and young people, spoiling other people’s orders by touching the sushi dishes as they pass by the conveyor belt.

In a separate video that was posted last month,  a customer was recorded putting wasabi on another dish, while the other person licked the chopsticks. Another video, filmed at a Sushiro chain outlet, shows a customer rubbing his saliva on passing sushi pieces.

Others said that they were “a bit scared” by the trend and have admitted that they were less willing to go to restaurants.

Japan is well known for its cleanliness standards and culinary etiquette.

The sushi terrorism pranks have not only shocked people around the world but also led to the fall in share prices of companies like the Sushiro chain.

This has spurred several Kaitenzushi chains to make an appeal for offenders to stop their food sabotage.

Some restaurants have stopped using conveyor belts in serving their food and have opted to directly bring the customers’ orders as well as the condiments and sauces to their respective tables.

Police in the central Japanese city of Nagoya allege Ryoga Yoshino as the one who licked the soy sauce bottle at the Kura Sushi conveyor-belt sushi restaurant last February 3.

Two minors were also involved. The police said their actions equated to obstruction of business under Japan’s Penal Code.

The said restaurant has now developed an alert system for some of its conveyor belts, which now have sensors and cameras. These new sensors would also be able to identify the specific plate and seat number affected.


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