Hankyu restaurants investigated for 'misrepresenting' ingredients


Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc is under investigation by the Consumer Affairs Agency after it allegedly lied to thousands of customers about ingredients used in its restaurants.

According to the agency, eight hotels and four restaurants operated by Hankyu Hanshin in Kyoto and Osaka misrepresented ingredients in dishes that were eaten by an estimated 79,000 customers. TBS reported Wednesday that among the allegations are that fish described as "fresh from the market" was, in fact, frozen, and that spring onions described as "kujo spring onions" were actually regular green and white spring onions.

Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co Ltd announced at a news conference Tuesday that customers who can prove when they ate at one of the restaurants under investigation will be entitled to a refund.

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What a surprise!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co Ltd announced at a news conference Tuesday that customers who can prove when they ate at one of the restaurants under investigation will be entitled to a refund.

This is Japan, many people take pictures of their food so I hope they can back up what they said.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's already starting. Restaurants lying about WHAT they are is going to be WHERE the food came from lies. Seafood ring a bell?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

No surprise.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

what?! you mean those weren't kujo spring onions? off with their heads!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

agreed with smith. ZERO surprise. I dont really trust any of the lables here in Japan. I use them as a general guide at best.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Not uncommon here for places to misrepresent what they are serving, relabeling the use by date, the where from, showing pictures of one item and supplying another are all fairly standard practise here, and the Japanese customers usually don't complain. Which makes me wonder how come this place got found out?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

To call most of what people eat "food" is itself a misrepresentation. It is more laboratory and factory product than farm fresh produce.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Hey, that isn't very honourable. They also served juice as freshly made, while it actually was stuff from a pack. They also served real caviar, which were actually flying fish eggs or something. According to the news, the caviar they had on their menu costs 16,000 yen per kg, while a kg of the fishy eggs they served costs only 3,900 or so. You can unexpectedly be out of something like an onion or fresh fruit, but this went on for years. Makes one wonder how widespread this is. As with the meat and rice scandals, many employees must be in on such a scam, but nobody raises an alarm? And what about the chefs. Most chefs have pride in what they put on their customers plates. It probably only comes to light when a disgruntled employee feels he or she has an axe to grind with their (former) employer. And now they are so have been found out. Yes we stole from you, now you prove it. As they also mentioned in the news, just give them a big fat fine and donate the money to charity.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

falsifying facts is not uncommon here in Japan, my sympathies to those who paid higher charges for low grade cheaper ingredients.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This is rampant in Japan. That said, a very large proportion of seafood served elsewhere is not the species listed on the menu.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This is the country where if you order a vegetarian salad, you get ham in your salad.

Please tell me where is the news here...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Consumer confidence in very low due to the ever expanding list of food labeling scandals in Japan. How can anyone believe any good stuffs are where they are stated and free from contamination of any sort? My personal favorite from recent years is the company using pesticide ladened rice from China to make Sho-Chu. You are what you eat!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

spring onions described as “kujo spring onions” were actually regular green and white spring onions.... fish described as “fresh from the market” was, in fact, frozen

Kujo negi is the regular one in Kansai, nothing fancy. And yes, we know most shashimi is frozen (it has too for safety indeed). Frankly, if that's the story, you're wasting pixel doing an article over it.

Probably the scandal is more something like that. Or they got some mushrooms shaped like matsutake and used bottle flavored on them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't mean to bash, but in traditional institutional (e.g. corporate) Japan it is de regueur to lie if deemed necessary. There's a lot of leeway on what is considered ethical (the point is not really debated), and very rarely is anyone willing to stick their neck out to cry foul. That's the tradition, but it is going to change.

People don't like being lied to. In the current world of interconnectivity, it's a lot harder to get away with this dishonesty.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This is Japan, many people take pictures of their food so I hope they can back up what they said.

They only have to prove that they ate at one of their restaurants, not what they ate. Not sure how they would do that without the pics though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mislabeling or let's say convenient omission or massive marketing circumvolution to sell stone as gold is unfortunately a worldwide practice.

For instance, make some research on fish mislabelling in the US and you will be surprised!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Despite the exotic origin suggested by the name "Corinthian leather", much of the leather used in Chrysler vehicles during the era originated from a supplier located outside Newark, New Jersey.

That's too funny! I remember those commercials!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Restaurants always have some secrets and this one was not bad as it could be.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Food fraud has been around for centuries and what we know is the tip of the iceberg. Basically it's about deliberate substitutions, tampering or misrepresentation of food or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain. Most cases are not highly publicized. However they're on going cases of blatant misrepresentation among some incredibly common foods. It's unfortunate when what you think you're eating maybe far from reality and the manipulation of food far more widespread than anyone realized. In some cases foods can be diluted with ingredients not listed on the label. Still others can contain fake clouding agents or ingredients detrimental to your health. It's sad but Seafood fraud is very widespread and false labeling common. Some are substituted for cheap less fish varieties. Thus it's quite clear that food fraud is on the rise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

say it's factory fresh! That'll fix it

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I bet Hankyu didn't have a problem with price misrepresentation ......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well its not just food, what about the blatant misrepresentation of your mobile phone data transfer rates. Eg I'm quoted 21Megabits / sec but the best ever in a great location was 7 and mostly 3mbps. Best effort they say but maybe it should be stated no effort.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Freakin greedy osaka scum. They might pretend they're high class but they'll do anything for an extra buck.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

haven't eaten out for a while after suspicions about what ends up on my plate

... and just imagine how someone might feel if they order dog and get cat!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Never, never, eat any food NOT purchased from a 100 yen store ... it's the only way of being sure you got what you paid for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they are about to lose a lot of money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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