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A 20-year-old man fired from his job at a sushi restaurant over a rumor that he has a tattoo has taken the company operating the restaurant to court to seek damages.

In a petition for a labor dispute adjudication procedure filed Tuesday with Tokyo District Court, the man demanded the company, Kioikyubei, pay a total of ¥5.8 million in damages and as wages during the dispute.

The man had been working as an assistant chef at the luxury sushi restaurant located inside Hotel New Otani in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

According to a lawyer representing the man, a friend of the man, speaking to the sushi restaurant’s manager on July 26, suggested that the man has a tattoo.

Two days later, the president of the company who heard about the rumor fired the man without confirming the facts.

Later in July, the company asked the man to leave a company dormitory in Suginami Ward.

The dismissal was withdrawn in August as a result of discussions between representatives of the man and the company, but the company told the man that as long as he has a tattoo he would only be allowed to do cooking preparations.

The man’s lawyer has not disclosed whether the man actually has a tattoo.

“The firing is illegal because having tattoos is not prohibited under the company’s work rules,” the lawyer said, also noting that forcible acts such as making him leave the dorm are also subject to compensation.

The sushi restaurant operator issued a statement Tuesday, saying, “It’s very regrettable that the petition has been filed as we believed that we had already corrected the wrongdoing of firing him after discussions.”

“We’ll respond adequately with regard to detailed requests for compensation and others after receiving the petition,” the company said.

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