National

Osaka sushi chain sorry for spiking foreigners' orders with excess wasabi, denies ill intent

Kyodo, Staff Report

A sushi chain in Osaka Prefecture has apologized for serving fish with excessive wasabi to foreign customers but denied that any ill intent or discrimination was behind the stunt.

“We apologize for causing trouble on the internet about our services for customers,” Fujii Shokuhin Co. said in a statement on its website.

The company, based in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, runs the Ichibazushi chain of sushi shops, which has been accused of spicing up its food with excessive amounts of the green, nose-searing, eye-watering condiment over the past year or two at its Nanba outlet in central Osaka.

The company claims the extra wasabi — often twice the normal amount — was added in response to foreign customers who were seeking more excitement in their raw fish.

But the gesture backfired for customers, apparently from South Korea, who weren’t fans of the seasoning, it said.

“There was no discriminatory intent involved here,” Fujii Shokuhin claimed in its website apology.

It also said that chefs added the condiment individually, based on their own judgment, denying that company policy was behind the behavior.

Fujii Shokuhin decided to take action after the wasabi-boosting antic went viral on Twitter and other social media recently.

” ‘Wasabi terror’: Apparently some sushi restaurants in Osaka have been trolling Korean tourists by adding extra wasabi to their orders,” one tweet said.

Another reads: “Racial harassment? Osaka sushi restaurant serves Korean tourists with inedible amount of #wasabi between fish and rice.”