No more naked lunch: China bans sushi dining ladies

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The Independent Online

The eating of sushi and sashimi using the naked bodies of young women as a platter has long been a popular luncheon pastime for a certain type of businessman.

The eating of sushi and sashimi using the naked bodies of young women as a platter has long been a popular luncheon pastime for a certain type of businessman.

Now the Chinese government has banned the practice, in a move which has prompted speculation that there may be something more than just a sense of decency behind the prohibition.

The Beijing government's ban on "body sushi" is ostensibly part of a push to stop businesses using naked bodies to promote their goods, according to reports from the Xinhua news agency.

The Beijing Times newspaper said the new ban had been introduced because serving food on women "insults people's moral quality".

But the prohibition of what is widely seen as a "traditional" Japanese custom is also an indication of China's increasingly outspoken antipathy towards Japan which was expressed recently in anti-Japanese rioting in Chinese cities.

The row erupted last month over new Japanese school textbooks which downplayed atrocities committed by Japanese troops in China during the Second World War.

Last year the Chinese media reacted angrily to reports that a Japanese restaurant in Kunming, in the Yunnan Province of south-western China, was serving raw fish delicacies on the naked bodies of two university students.

Customers paid 1,000 yuan, (£60) a head for the meal. The restaurant was fined and the practice was discontinued.

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