Japanese sushi chain drops $480,000 suit against 17-year-old over licking prank


The operator of Japanese sushi restaurant chain Sushiro has reportedly dropped its lawsuit against a high school student who contaminated food on one of its conveyor belts.

What happened: The incident occurred at an Akindo Sushiro branch in Gifu prefecture on Jan. 3. In a viral video, the student, 17, can be seen licking a soy sauce bottle and a cup, sucking on his finger and touching the moving sushi. The video ends with the teenager smiling and giving a thumbs up. Amid public outrage, the student apologized for his actions in another video.

Suit dropped: Food & Life Companies Ltd., Akindo Sushiro’s parent firm, vowed to take legal action over the matter and eventually sued the teenager, demanding 67 million yen (approximately $480,000) in compensation. On Wednesday, local media reported that the suit had been dropped after the parties “reached a settlement with reasonable details that are acceptable” to the plaintiff.

The big picture: The incident added to the “sushi terrorism” trend that hit restaurants in Japan earlier this year. Ryoga Yoshino, 21, was among the first individuals arrested over the viral trend. Like the 17-year-old, Yoshino allegedly licked a soy sauce bottle and put saliva on some sushi. The incidents resulted in financial losses and heightened security measures.

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