Like the plates in revolving sushi restaurants, justice eventually comes around.

To say it’s hasn’t been the best month for kaiten sushi (revolving sushi restaurants) would be a severe understatement. A rash of disgusting prank videos have battered the reputation of kaiten sushi eateries, taking them from one of Japan’s favorite choices for a quick, delicious, and affordable meal to the kind of place where many people would feel uneasy putting anything in their mouths.

The prank videos, posted online, started coming to the public’s attention in early February. Now, though, the Japanese police have made their first arrests related to the recent string of what’s been dubbed “sushi terrorism,” arresting three people involved in a video recorded inside a branch of kaiten sushi chain Kura Sushi in the city of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, on February 3.

In the video, a young man can be seen drinking directly from the bottle of soy sauce on his table, putting his mouth, and seemingly tongue as well, on the pouring spigot. This is extremely poor table manners, but the even more heinous part is that after a party leaves, ordinarily the soy sauce bottle remains on the table for the next customers to use. The man in the video also grabs pieces of sushi off of plates as they go by on the conveyor, leaving crushed bits of rice and fish on the plate as it continues down the lane. In addition to being unsanitary, this is theft, since customers’ bills at kaiten sushi are calculated by the number of plates they have on their table at the end of their meal.

The video was uploaded on February 3, and Kura Sushi filed a police report the very next day. On March 8, the Aichi Prefectural Police’s Naka Precinct announced that it has arrested the man seen in the video, 21-year-old Ryoga Yoshino. Also arrested, but with their names not publicly released, were Yoshino’s two companions at the time, a 19-year-old man who recorded the video and a 15-year-old girl. The three face charges of “forced obstruction of business,” a broadly defined crime that covers people engaging in mischief, mayhem, or other forms of jackassery at a place of business.

“We appreciate the swift response by Naka Precinct,” said Kura Sushi in a statement. “Such inconsiderate action, which shakes the foundations of the relationship of trust we have built with our customers, and we sincerely hope that broad knowledge that such actions are a crime will prevent others from engaging in such behavior.” Kura Sushi is also in the process of equipping all of its restaurants with AI cameras to spot pranksters as soon as possible.

Investigators say that Yoshino has admitted to the charges, saying “What I did was inexcusable.” Perhaps that’s a sign of genuine remorse, or perhaps he simply realizes there’s no point in denying his disgusting behavior after he was stupid enough to record it.

Sources: FNN Prime Online, Jiji, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Livedoor News/Kyodo
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