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World News | ‘Sushi terrorism’ hoax video on Japanese social media sparks outrage, sympathy

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Tokyo [Japan]Feb. 8 (ANI): The unhygienic shenanigans at a Japanese sushi conveyor belt restaurant have sparked outrage and sympathy amid its stock drop, venue overhauls and legal action, NHK World reports.

Videos dubbed “sushi terrorism” have surfaced on social media including Twitter and TikTok in recent days, sparking outrage, legal action and even a social media campaign to help one of the Affected companies.

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One of the videos, filmed at a Sushiro branch, shows a teenage diner licking the top of a communal soy sauce bottle.

Then he licked the rim of the teacup and put it back on the shelf. As the video went viral — with tens of millions of views — it sent shares in the restaurant’s parent company, Food & Life Companies, plummeting, according to NHK World.

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Other videos that have emerged show customers of different chains putting wasabi on slices of sushi being passed around or licking spoons from communal containers of green tea powder.

While the incidents appeared to be limited to a few videos, they caused an uproar in Japan, a country known for its high cleanliness standards.

“This is disgusting,” one Japanese Twitter user wrote in response, while another added: “I can no longer go to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant.”

The company responded by filing a police report alleging damage to its reputation, NHK World reported.

“We take this matter very seriously as it undermines the trust between operators and customers,” Food & Living said in a statement. “Our customers are disgusted by this video, which is totally unacceptable.”

The company said that while both the teen in the video and his parents have apologized, it intends to pursue the matter as a criminal and civil case.

The company has also taken countermeasures to prevent similar incidents from happening. Customers of affected restaurants and nearby shops must now bring cutlery and condiments to their tables from a central service point.

The company said it will also provide freshly sanitized tableware at any of its stores nationwide at the request of diners, NHK World reported.

The videos have wreaked havoc on Japan’s 740 billion yen ($8.1 billion) sushi industry.

Sushiro, Japan’s largest sushi restaurant chain, claims its reputation and finances have been damaged by the controversy.

Sushiro shares fell 5 percent, or $181 million, Japanese news outlet TV Asahi reported.

In footage captured by sushi chain Hamazushi, a customer puts wasabi on someone else’s order as others pass him on a conveyor belt.

In another prank shared on social media, a diner at a branch of noodle chain Sukesan Udon ate spoonfuls of tempura toppings with a communal spoon. The operator said it had reported the incident to the police, NHK World reported.

However, the initial social media backlash has given way to outpourings of support, with many posting pictures or videos of their visit to the sushi restaurant with the hashtag #saveSushiro, NHK World reported.

Nii Kohei, the company’s president, wrote on Twitter that he was overwhelmed by the kind words: “I feel like crying with gratitude.”

While this trend of “sushi terrorism” may be shocking, it’s actually nothing new in Japanese culture.

The viral videos appear to be identical to a popular trend on Japanese YouTube known as “meiwaku-douga,” or “nasty videos.” (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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