Arrests have been made in Tokyo after a series of malicious pranks dubbed “Sushi Terrorism” made diners think twice before eating food off of the famous conveyor belts used by many Japanese restaurants.

In recent weeks, footage was released of teenagers partaking in unhygienic behavior when dining at sushi restaurants. One teenager wiped saliva onto a sushi plate that rolled past, and another sprayed sushi with hand sanitizer.


In a country known for its cleanliness and dedication to hygiene, customers were outraged. Kaitenzushi, or conveyor belt sushi, has been a staple in Japanese food culture for decades, and restaurant owners are determined to protect their franchises.


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Police have arrested two men aged 19 and 21 years old, along with a 15-year-old girl for the crimes after they were identified in a video depicting one of them drinking directly from a communal bottle of soy sauce.

The pranks are in terrible taste, especially with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic still fresh in people’s minds.

The location of the crimes was a Kura Sushi restaurant, just one in a chain in the city of Nagoya. Kura Sushi released a statement on the incidents:

“We sincerely hope that this arrest will serve as a catalyst for widespread public recognition of the ‘crime’ of nuisance behavior that shakes the very foundations of the system based on the relationship of trust with our customers, and we truly hope that there will be no more copycat crimes,” it said in a statement.

One kaitenzushi franchise, Choshimaru, will be phasing out conveyor belts entirely by the end of April, opting for a touch panel instead.

The franchise cited “sushi terrorism” as the reason for the decision, stating that their move is “a countermeasure against recent nuisance behaviors that have caused serious damages to the restaurant industry.”

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