Sushiro, a major conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain in Japan, has filed a 67 million (US $480,000) lawsuit against a boy who licked a soy sauce bottle at one of its outlets. According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Akindo Sushiro, which runs the restaurant chain, filed the lawsuit at the Osaka District Court on March 22 and the details were revealed this month. The incident took place in the Gifu prefecture in January this year when the boy visited the restaurant with a friend.
According to the complaint filed in the court, the boy licked was filmed licking an open soy sauce bottle and an unused teacup, and then touched a passing plate of sushi with a finger covered in his saliva.
The company claimed that after the video was uploaded on social media on January 29, its restaurants saw a sharp fall in customer number.
The suit also alleges that the footage caused its parent company’s market capitalisation to fall by more than 16 billion yen.
The SCMP report also said that Akindo Sushiro is installing plastic barriers at over 600 outlets nationwide among other measures due to the incident, which resulted in a loss of 90 million yen.
The boy admitted to licking the items and expressed remorse, but asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, The Asahi Shimbun said.
The boy said he and his friend who recorded the prank did not intend for the footage to be shared with a third party and go viral on social media.