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A Japanese conveyor-belt restaurant chain is suing a teenager accused of ‘sushi terrorism’ – after he was filmed licking his finger and wiping his saliva on the fish. 

Shares in Akindo Sushiro showed a marked drop after a video went viral of the teenager in January and was viewed nearly 40 million times on Twitter

He licked a soy sauce bottle and a teacup, which he then returned to the conveyor belt to be used by other customers. 

The chain’s owner says the footage led to decreased footfall and now seeks £380,000 in damages.  

Sushiro is installing plastic barriers at a cost of £510,000, according to the Times. 





In the video, dubbed ‘sushi terrorism’, the teenager licks the top of a communal soy sauce bottle and the rim of a teacup he then places back on a shelf

The teenager has reportedly apologised to the chain but his defence team are arguing that he did not know the video would be uploaded and have such a great impact. 

Court documents also state that the loss of business could be due to increased competition from rival chains. 

The video, filmed central Japanese city of Gifu, reportedly prompted stocks in the restaurant’s parent company to plunge nearly five per cent.  

The teenager is among a series of pranksters who have been filmed contaminating food at sushi conveyor belt restaurants in Japan, with the pranks sparking stock slumps, venue overhauls and legal action.

Other videos filmed at different chains saw customers putting wasabi on passing pieces of sushi or licking the spoon in a communal green tea powder container. 

Though the incidents appear to be confined to just a few videos, they have caused an uproar in Japan, a country with famously high standards of cleanliness.

‘This is sickening,’ one Japanese Twitter user wrote in response, with another adding: ‘I can’t go to conveyor belt sushi restaurants anymore.’

In one clip, a customer licked his finger and wiped it along the food moving past his table

In one clip, a customer licked his finger and wiped it along the food moving past his table

In one clip, a customer licked his finger and wiped it along the food moving past his table

In one clip, a customer licked his finger and wiped it along the food moving past his table

The customer then licked his finger before touching a piece of sushi as it goes past on the belt

In Tokyo, 20-year-old musician Luna Watanabe said she was appalled by the videos.

‘Omotenashi (hospitality) is an important selling point in Japan, so I think it’s unforgivable,’ she told AFP in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district.

‘It’s harmful to customers and employees.’

But others largely shrugged off the incident, including Tetsuya Haneda, a photographer.

‘As far as I’m concerned, it only happened once, so that doesn’t mean it happens all the time,’ he said.

‘It’s not a problem – on the contrary, now there will be fewer people waiting in line, so I won’t need to make a reservation anymore to go and eat, even on the weekend.’

Online too, after the initial outcry, there was something of a wave of support for the affected companies, with some tweeting their backing under the hashtag #saveSushiro.

‘I’ve always wanted to go to Sushiro but haven’t been able to because it’s always crowded,’ Japanese singer Yuya Tegoshi tweeted.

‘But the situation now is the absolute worst for them, so I’m definitely going to visit.’

Sushiro president Kohei Nii said on Twitter he had been overwhelmed by ‘an outpouring of support’.

The case is due to be heard at a court in Osaka.  

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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