The Korean Embassy in Tokyo requested the Japanese police for a “speedy, fair” investigation of a recent alleged hate crime against a Korean woman.
“There was a case in Japan where a Korean national was hospitalized after drinking detergent dissolved in a cup of water,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters Tuesday.
“[The foreign mission] immediately contacted the local police on the issue.”
The Tokyo police reportedly said they will do so but refused to share the details of the investigation.
A Korean woman surnamed Kang told JTBC on Monday that she had been served a cup of liquid detergent at a restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, on Aug. 31. She was hospitalized for acute food poisoning after.
Japanese news outlets, including Yahoo Japan, reported on the incident on Saturday.
Kang alleged the restaurant employees, who figured out she was Korean from her looks and accent, intentionally served her detergent water with racist motivation.
She said the employee who served her the cup tried to throw away the drink without a word when she complained and that another employee instructed her to disgorge in the toilet when she showed signs of vomit.
The restaurant said the employee had mistaken the detergent for a water pitcher, but Kang and her husband claimed the two containers were easily distinguishable.
Japanese health authorities issued a five-day business suspension between Sept. 8 to 12.
“We apologize to the customer who was food poisoned and her family for causing great pain and inconvenience,” the restaurant said in a written statement, promising to review its sanitary procedures to prevent a recurrence.
Kang and her husband reported the restaurant for gross negligence.
The restaurant at issue is a Tokyo branch of a high-end chain that serves a lunch course priced over 10,000 yen ($67.6), with branches in Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and other Japanese cities.
BY SOHN DONG-JOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]