A High Schooler Is Being Sued $480,000 Over Viral Soy Sauce-Licking Video

Though unhygienic behavior in restaurants is nothing new, it has led to the coining of something called "sushi terrorism." According to the Japan Times, "sushi terrorism" is essentially people displaying problematic behavior in conveyor belt sushi restaurants – be it children touching clean plates, or a teenager licking the tops of soy sauce bottles.

As outlandish as this behavior sounds, a Sushiro sushi chain recently sued a high school student for — you guessed it — licking communal soy sauce bottles. The teen was also caught touching other people's plates of sushi as they passed on the conveyor belt. While this is already bad enough, the teen shared a video of the incident online.

Akindo Sushiro Co. alleged that the video obstructed business by steering away customers, ultimately costing the chain more than $115 million. The chain is now seeking $480,000 in damages, to be paid by the high school student. However, fining the teen doesn't fix the much wider trend of "sushi terrorism."

What are sushi restaurants doing to thwart 'sushi terrorism'?

Following a similar incident of soy sauce bottle-licking, another sushi chain pressed charges against three young adults. Per the New York Times, "forcible obstruction of business" can result in a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a charge which we can only assume the restaurant would be pursuing.

Again, these measures are reactive, not preventive. That being said, many restaurant chains — particularly those with a conveyor belt serving system — are installing AI-equipped cameras and/or restricting food on conveyor belts to only ordered items. Others are forgoing conveyor belts entirely, opting instead to display photos of available items and revert to a wait staff.

Regardless of how sushi restaurants choose to deal with their own niche form of terrorism, the moral of the story is they shouldn't have to deal with it in the first place. Diners shouldn't using chopsticks in pranks or licking communal dishes and utensils. In response to the potentially costly lawsuit, the teen's lawyer has asked for the restaurant to dismiss the case and that the teen has expressed remorse for their actions.