The Japanese police arrested three individuals involved in a "sushi terrorism" prank on Mar. 8, reported NHK.
The trio includes 21-year-old Yoshino Ryoga, who is currently unemployed with no fixed address, a 19-year-old man, and a 15-year-old girl, a police spokesperson told AFP on Mar. 9.
Their arrest came after footage which showed Yoshino grabbing a piece of sushi from the belt with his bare hands and drinking soy sauce directly from the spout of the bottle went viral on social media last month.
The location of the incident has since been identified to be a Kura sushi outlet in Nagoya, Japan, reported NHK.
For the uninitiated, Kura sushi is a restaurant chain founded in 1977, which operates more than 560 outlets in Japan, the United States, and Taiwan, according to its official website.
Police investigations revealed that the group of three, who are believed to have met through social media, visited the Kura sushi outlet on Feb. 3 at around 8:40pm, reported NHK.
There, Yoshino took a video of himself drinking soy sauce directly from the bottle spout before posting it on social media.
After the outlet filed a police report, the Japanese police launched an investigation based on the video circulating on social media, as well as the footage from the outlet's surveillance cameras, according to NHK.
The trio was subsequently arrested for their "forcible obstruction of business" (業務妨害罪) as employees at the outlet had to perform emergency cleaning as a result of the group's antics, NHK and AFP reported.
According to AFP, while the police have yet to file any charges, the group could have been jailed for up to three years under Japanese law if charged.
It was also reported that the police are still investigating further details of the case.
Statement from Kura sushi
In response to the arrest, Kura sushi said the company "sincerely hopes that the arrest will help to raise awareness that this type of mischievous act is a crime and that there will be no copycats in the future," reported NHK.
The sushi chain also vowed to further improve its system to prevent similar incidents from happening again and to ensure its patrons can enjoy their meals with peace of mind.
Previous "food terrorism" cases
Unfortunately, the incident is not the first "food terrorism" case that has taken place in Japan over the last few months.
In January 2023, a schoolboy was filmed licking a soy sauce bottle and cup in a Sushiro outlet in the Japanese city of Gifu, located not far away from Nagoya.
The outlet has since filed a police report, and investigations are currently ongoing, reported NHK.
A month later, a video which showed a man grabbing a bunch of disposable chopsticks and stuffing them into his mouth before returning them to the holder at a Kamukura outlet was also uploaded to social media.
In response, the ramen chain said it would be seeking recourse in both civil and criminal capacity, according to NHK.
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