Sushi chain in Japan demands $480,000 in damages from a child who licked a bottle of soy sauce

While restaurants strive to provide excellent service and create a welcoming environment for their patrons, there are instances where tensions can arise between the establishment and its patrons.

Although it would be unfair to generalize that all restaurants “hate” their customers, several factors can contribute to the occasional dissatisfaction or conflict in the hospitality industry.


A major conveyor belt sushi chain in Japan, Sushiro, has filed a ¥67 million (US$480,000) lawsuit against a child who licked a bottle of soy sauce at one of its outlets.


The lawsuit was filed by Akindo Sushiro, the company that operates the restaurant chain, in the Osaka District Court on March 22.

The incident occurred in January this year when the boy visited the restaurant in Gifu Prefecture with a friend, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

A complaint was filed with the court alleging that the boy was recorded licking an open soy sauce bottle and a fresh tea cup, and subsequently touched a plate of sushi with a saliva-covered finger.

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The company claims that after the video was shared on social media on January 29, its restaurants experienced a significant decrease in customer numbers.

The lawsuit further alleges that the video caused the parent company’s market capitalization to drop by more than 16 billion yen.

In response to the incident, Akindo Sushiro is taking measures such as installing plastic barriers at more than 600 outlets across the country, resulting in a loss of 90 million yen.

While the boy admitted to licking the items and expressed remorse, he asked the court to dismiss the suit, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The boy and his friend, who filmed the prank, did not intend for the footage to be shared with a third party or go viral on social media.

In a similar incident, a man in his 30s was charged after he was caught on camera eating pickled red ginger directly from a shared bowl at a Yoshinoya beef bowl restaurant in Osaka.

The incident occurred outside of the sushi business and led to his indictment on the same charge.

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