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3 hotel operators reprimanded for mislabeling menus

12 Comments

The Consumer Affairs Agency has reprimanded three major hotel and restaurant operators over mislabeling menu items. Since October, there have been 307 cases of food mislabeling uncovered, which the agency says is threatening to undermine the country's reputation for safe, high-quality produce.

The companies reprimanded are Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co, Hanshin Hotel Systems (which operates the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Osaka) and railway operator Kintetsu Corp.

The agency also said Friday companies that mislabel food or drink items may be fined.

The three companies, along with top department stores such as Takashimaya and Daimaru, have been ordered to take preventive measures against selling food with labels falsely claiming high-quality or expensive ingredients.

For example, Takashimaya admitted that for years labels claiming the use of top-of-the-range prawns or freshly-squeezed orange juice sat on produce made with inferior ingredients on 62 menu items at its stores in Tokyo's Shinjuku, Nihonbashi, Yokohama and Okayama. The department store also used giant tiger prawns to make a "Japanese tiger prawn" terrine, sold under the luxury French brand Fauchon.

Japanese tiger prawn is widely considered a top shrimp and one that can command premium prices in this seafood-loving nation, while giant tiger prawns are more widely available.

© Japan Today/AFP

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12 Comments
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So they got reprimanded and may be fined. I hope they learned their lesson.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, so you can commit a serious fraud to mislead and rip-off the consumer and get a 'reprimand' for it? No mention of fines or being made to repay the fraudulent funds they pilfered. What a great country!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

And, despite breaking the law we see once again there is no punishment. I have absolutely NO doubt they felt deeply ashamed, bowed, and promised internal reviews before going back to the mislabeling with big grins on their faces when thinking about their bank books. Good job, Consumer Affairs Agency! Now people can go back to shouting "Umai" because it costs 100% what it should, because it isn't what the restaurants says it is.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So commit a crime of fraud continuously over many years, rip the general public off, hood wink them, scam them and get absolutely a meaningless nothing as punishment.

Sometimes this country is so flamingly pathetic it makes you wonder how in the hell did it ever get this far.

But then we know it was through bribes, back handers, payments under the table, looking the other way, ignoring and pretending things wern.t happening, looking after the old cronies and golden parachutes among other dubious practices.

What's not to love about this country.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This type of crime will not go away unless the ones who are responsible are arrested and prosecuted of fraud charges.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And this is why Japan shuns the "1 person is responsible" idea. It is impossible to wipe out upper management because the business will fail. So, slaps on the wrists are the word of the day in Japan, and always will be until someone gets up enough guts to do soothing about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yup - just a slap on the wrist. It was to be expected. Great legal system! Seriously, what a joke...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ohhhhh a "reprimand". Bet they never ever mislabel anything ever again after such a harsh punishment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese tiger prawn, giant tiger prawns ive tried both and they taste the same. but hey if the Japanese want to eat and pay a premium for something they think is superior then go ahead. funny how it took so long before somebody actually noticed and did something about it. LOL

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When will health inspectors walk into kitchens and get them fixed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

which the agency says is threatening to undermine the country’s reputation for safe, high-quality produce.

This "reputation" relies on the transient nature of the foreign residents of Japan. Over the last 30 years there have been repeated incidents of food mislabeling, tainted food and cover-ups in Japan's food industry. No one who has followed Japanese news during this period is surprised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

which the agency says is threatening to undermine the country’s reputation for safe, high-quality produce.

Threatening to? I would say we are ever so slightly beyond that now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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