The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Japan's 'sushi terrorism' prompts changes at conveyor-belt restaurants

By Emily Heil

07 Mar 2023 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

Antisocial behavior from diners who are deliberately being unhygienic in commercial sushi restaurants has led to arrests for forcible obstruction of business. The Post reports.

The threat of "sushi terrorism" - carried out by pranksters who spit on other diners' food or otherwise tamper with food and dishes - is prompting big changes in Japan's kaitenzushi restaurants, where customers choose their food from dishes that travel to them on conveyor belts.

Choshimaru, a chain with dozens of locations in Tokyo and the surrounding area, this week said that it is switching over to a system in which customers order their sushi from an employee or a touch-screen monitor instead of the traditional style of picking it off a slow-moving conveyor. The change, which will take place by the end of next month, was prompted by a video in which a man put a cigarette butt in a dish of pickled ginger as it passed him by, according to news reports.

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