McDonald’s Japan has been having kind of a tough time lately…

After the restaurant took peculiar the step of removing menus from its counters, Japanese patrons have expressed their dissatisfaction both online and off, suggesting that the idea was perhaps not the company’s best in recent year, and the Golden Arches have received plenty of negative press as a result.

Perhaps fuelled by this feeling of discontent, a photo shared on social networking site Twitter, which shows an in-store sign alerting customers to the fact that free water will no longer be served, has had Japanese netizens up in arms, and has been shared more than 5,000 times.

“The practice of providing water to our customers have been suspended. Customers requiring water for the purpose of taking medicine should make themselves known to a member of staff.”

While the thought of having a cup of water at McDonald’s may seem odd to many westerners, it is common practice for restaurants and cafes in Japan to provide a complimentary glass over water to every customer, regardless of whether other drinks are ordered. Although McDonald’s does not actively offer water to each and every customer, it’s not uncommon for diners, either to save money or as a healthier alternative to soft drinks, to skip value meals or sets that come with a beverage and go for a couple of individual items and a cup of water.

So, with the fast food chain behaving a little strangely recently and making changes that customers are not altoegther happy with, it is perhaps understandable that Japanese internet users would be quick to believe that McDonald’s is denying its customers a free cup of water now, too…

“Man, they really want us to buy a drink, don’t they!?”

“Is this just to stop people ordering just a hamburger and a cup of water?”

“Is the ‘smile with every order’ being cut next?”

“Whatever; I’ve decided not to go there any more anyway…”

But wait!!! It turns out that the company might not have flipped its lid after all!

Along with photographic proof, Twitter user Akiba Jigoku stepped in to douse the flames with his cup of McWater obtained earlier today:

▼“I just went to McDonald’s in Akihabara and ordered water just fine. Look- it’s even on the receipt: ‘1 water’”

But… but… the sign! The sign said “no more water” didn’t it!?

Well, yes, but, as another eagle-eyed Twitter user is quick to point out: “that photo of the sign was blogged in 2005…”.

Crisis over, people! Back to your bunks…

Scource: Jin / Hamster Sokuhou

Title image: AtWiki edited by RocketNews24