A young diner in Japan was filmed licking a soy sauce bottle and cup in a sushi eatery, prompting the company that operates the chain establishment to file a police report and seek out recourse in a civil and criminal capacity.
The 48-second clip was originally posted to Instagram Stories and appeared to be a prank dare video.
Copies of the video have since been reposted online and watched millions of times globally.
What video showed
The video showed a young student licking a soy sauce bottle and a cup before putting them back in a Sushiro restaurant.
He also sucked on his finger and used it to touch sushi passing by on the conveyor belts.
The video caused widespread outrage in Japan, as such eateries rely on customers' trust to function, given that parts of the operation are automated and parts of it are self-service.
The branch where the antics were filmed has been identified as the Sushiro in central Japan's Gifu Prefecture.
The operator filed the damages complaint to police on Jan. 31 over the video.
Food & Life Companies Ltd. based in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, announced that it would consult police about the incident and take strict action, from both criminal and civil perspectives, according to Mainichi Shimbun.
The outlet in the video has since cleaned all of the cups in the affected store, and replaced all of its soy sauce bottles, the operator said, according to the report.
Given the unhygienic antics and negative public perception, Sushiro’s stock price fell by about ¥16.8 billion (S$171 million) in the wake of the incident.
Due to the backlash and publicity, the student in the video and his guardian have come forward to directly apologise to the company, Kyodo reported.
However, the company said it will still proceed to take action.
Student's identity revealed
The student’s school photo was subsequently uploaded onto Twitter on Jan. 31 after he was identified.
Japan Times reported that such pranks are not new.
They have been around since at least more than five years ago, and have only recently been popping up again as an anti-social trend.
The name for it in Japanese is “sushi tero”, or "sushi terrorism".
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