'Gyoza' chain chief shot dead outside HQ


The president of the nationwide Ohsho “gyoza” (dumpling) restaurant chain was gunned down Thursday morning in front of the company’s headquarters in Kyoto, police said.

Takayuki Ohigashi, 72, the head of Ohsho Food Services, which runs the Gyoza no Ohsho chain, was shot in a parking lot in front of the headquarters in Yamashina Ward, the police said. The unidentified shooter fled.

Ohigashi was bleeding from several gunshot wounds when an employee found him lying face down at around 7 a.m., the city fire department said.

The Kyoto Prefectural Police said Ohigashi’s belongings, including his wallet, were still on him and apparently no money was missing. Investigators said the crime may have been committed out of malice for either Ohigashi or the company.

Several spent bullet casings were found on the ground, the police said.

Ohsho Food, founded in 1967 and known for its low-priced fare, has 2,000 employees and 680 Gyoza no Ohsho eateries nationwide and four in China.

The company has recently been involved in some high-profile incidents.

Last December, a group of customers sat naked at the counter of one of its restaurants in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and took pictures of themselves, posting them later on the Internet.

Ohsho Food filed a criminal complaint in September against 10 customers involved in the incident, saying their behavior amounted to obstruction of business and public indecency.

Afterward, the Ishikawa Prefectural Police turned over to prosecutors their case against the people, who denied committing any wrongdoing and claimed they had obtained permission from the restaurant.

In February, meanwhile, an Ohsho Food employee in Kyoto sued the company for ¥23 million for allegedly forcing him to work long hours that caused him to become clinically depressed.

The restaurant chain operated as normal Thursday. The company said later in the day it that Executive Managing Director Naoto Watanabe, 58, will succeed Ohigashi.

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