Authorities shut down ‘naked sushi’ restaurant

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The restaurant had been open since 2011, but as soon as old photos of its “naked sushi” specialty went viral on the Internet, the owner of Pattaya’s Tokyo Kids knew what would come next.

Sure enough, Pattaya police, Banglamung district officers and military personnel arrived at the Soi Kophai 10 eatery around 10 a.m. Feb. 5. Restaurant staffers were waiting for them.

Pattaya police, Banglamung district officers and military personnel raid Tokyo Kids on Soi Kophai 10.Pattaya police, Banglamung district officers and military personnel raid Tokyo Kids on Soi Kophai 10.

Tokyo Kids catered to Chinese, Korean and Japanese businesspeople and tourists, offering a 5,000-baht-per-person “Nyotaimori” sushi platter, with the fish and rice served on top of a young, attractive, and naked Thai woman.

A fixture in Tokyo’s red-light Shinjuku district, Nyotaimori is not commonly served in Thailand and an advertisement scanned and put on Facebook earlier this month proclaimed Tokyo Kids as the only “naked sushi” spot in Pattaya.

The advertisement and accompanying outrage about the objectification of women spread like wildfire online and Apichart Wongsuriya, 38, manager of the restaurant, told police that “Jason,” the Australian owner of Tokyo Kids, had called him to open the restaurant early, as he expected a raid.

Authorities showed up well before the restaurant’s normal 2 p.m. opening time, so there were no sushi damsels to lock up, or even a cook or waitress. Officers collected menus, receipts, and CCTV footage.

They also closed Tokyo Kids temporarily for operating without a proper license and selling alcohol without a permit before making their way to a press conference to decry the “inappropriate” and “humiliating” employment of women and the damage it does not only to the reputation of Thai women, but Pattaya as well.