(CNN) — Police have arrested three people for pranking a sushi conveyor belt restaurant in Japan.
Facts that are becoming more common, dubbed online “#sushitero” or “#sushiterrorism” and has affected the financial situation of the country’s famous kaiten-style revolving restaurants.
Many criminals filmed themselves licking social soy sauce bottles or touching plates of food coming down conveyor belts before sharing the videos on social media.
Kura Sushi, one of the affected chains, said the three arrested were involved in a “very malicious disturbance” at their restaurant in the city of Nagoya on February 3.
“We hope the recent arrests will allow the public to recognize that actions that undermine our trust-based structure with our customers are a ‘crime,'” he said in a statement. freedom This Wednesday.
“Our company will continue to strive to further improve the system to prevent such inconvenience and allow customers to enjoy their food safely and comfortably. We will do our best to cultivate the conveyor belt sushi culture that is so loved in Japan and around the world.”
According to public broadcaster NHK, police arrested a 21-year-old man and two other youths on suspicion of obstructing the restaurant’s operations. The 21-year-old allegedly put his mouth on the spout of a soy sauce dispenser.
In addition to Kura Sushi, two other kaiten chains previously told CNN that they had experienced similar outages: Sushiro, owned by Food and Life, and Hamasushi. Both filed a police complaint.
Japan has been hosting the event since 2013. But the most recent wave of “sushitero” has coincided with a rise in Covid-19 infections, which has made people more aware of the importance of hygiene.
In recent weeks, some Japanese social media users have even begun to question whether conveyor-belt sushi restaurants have a future in the country, as consumers become more concerned about cleanliness.
Since then, Gaitan chains have made several changes to calm concerns and protect their businesses.
Sushiro stopped delivering unwanted food on conveyor belts. Kura Sushi, for its part, said it uses AI-powered cameras to monitor customers and their behavior.
CNN’s Emiko Jozuka and Michelle Toh contributed reporting.