Hama Sushi Sues Kappa Sushi for Illegal Outflow of Corporate Data; Seeks ¥500 million in Damages

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A Hama Sushi store. The photo has been partially modified.

The operator of major conveyor-belt sushi chain Hama Sushi on Wednesday said it has filed a lawsuit demanding ¥500 million from the operator of its rival Kappa Sushi and Kappa’s former president for the illegal outflow of trade secrets.

Zensho Holdings Co., the Tokyo-based parent company of Hama-sushi Co., filed the suit in the Tokyo District Court against Kappa Create Co., its former president Koki Tanabe, 47, and another entity.

Kappa Create is currently on trial for violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, and Tanabe has been found guilty of violating that law.

The plaintiff alleges that Tanabe — who was an executive at Zensho before his time at Kappa — illegally took trade secrets such as cost data and an earnings statement of Hama Sushi and shared them within Kappa. Zensho claims that doing so has incurred losses of over ¥6.3 billion and is seeking ¥500 million as part of damages from Kappa, Tanabe and the other party. Zensho is also demanding that the information taken be destroyed.

Kappa said it could not comment as it has not received the complaint.