Conveyor-Belt Sushi Chains Taking Action after Social Media Posts

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Sushiro logo is seen in Tokyo in December.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Conveyor-belt sushi restaurant chain operators in Japan are looking to take strict action following social media posts showing inappropriate behavior by customers.

The operator of the Hamasushi chain has filed a damage report to police over a video that started to circulate in early January. The video showed a man at what appears to be a Hamasushi store putting wasabi on sushi ordered by another customer. The sushi was moving on a conveyor belt.

“I hope (the perpetrator) will become aware that he did something that should not be done,” an official at Zensho Holdings Co. , the parent of the operating company, said of the reason for filing the damage report.

Another chain Sushiro has faced a similar issue, with a video going viral of a man putting his mouth on a soy sauce bottle and touching sushi with fingers that he put in his mouth.

Sushiro operator Food & Life Companies Ltd. released a statement saying that it will investigate to identify the store where the acts took place and “strictly deal with the incident as both criminal and civil cases while consulting the police soon.”

Another video showed three men at a restaurant of Kura Sushi Inc. , which places the sushi plates inside a transparent cover, putting sushi that they took from a conveyer belt back into a cover on the belt.

Although the video is believed to have been taken four years ago, a Kura Sushi official said that the company will “take strong, decisive action after consulting the police.”

The chain is planning to install cameras above conveyor belts to detect problematic activity.

“Acts such as putting wasabi on other customers’ sushi and putting one’s mouth on a soy sauce bottle may amount to fraudulent obstruction of business,” said Hiroaki Aratake, a lawyer who is well versed in legal affairs related to the dining sector.