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Utopia Talk / Politics / sumo news
Anarchist Prime
Thu Jan 04 09:55:07
JSA forces out Takanohana as director over beating incident


January 4, 2018 at 15:35 JST

The Japan Sumo Association on Jan. 4 formally demoted stablemaster Takanohana as an association director for his failure to report and to cooperate with its investigation into the beating of one of his wrestlers in late October.

It marked the first time a JSA director has been demoted.

The action was taken at an emergency meeting of JSA councilors, including external members, held in Tokyo on Jan. 4. The councilors meeting has the authority to appoint and dismiss JSA directors.

The councilors meeting had received a recommendation from the JSA directors' meeting on Dec. 28 to demote Takanohana in connection with the drunken beating in late October of Takanoiwa, a wrestler belonging to the Takanohana stable.

Takanohana was faulted for not reporting the assault of Takanoiwa by then yokozuna Harumafuji to the JSA even though Takanohana was the director in charge of the sumo circuit tour during which the beating occurred. He did report the assault to Tottori prefectural police.

Takanohana was also criticized for not cooperating with the JSA risk management committee that was looking into the incident.

The councilors meeting is made up of seven members, including four from outside the sumo world. A majority decision approves any matter in that meeting. Five members showed up for the Jan. 4 meeting, and they decided unanimously to demote Takanohana.

Takanohana was told by phone about the decision and he reportedly said, "I understand."

Yasuko Ikenobo, a former Lower House member who serves as chairwoman of the councilors meeting, said about Takanohana, "He severely violated the duty of loyalty on the part of JSA executives."

She cited his failure to report the beating incident as well as not cooperating with the risk management committee.

The action could have only a short punitive effect, however, because the disciplinary measure does not prevent Takanohana from running for one of the director's seats in a JSA election scheduled in February. He will also be allowed to continue coaching his stable's wrestlers.

The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament begins on Jan. 14 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Meanwhile, the Tottori District Public Prosecutors Office said that Harumafuji, 33, had been given a 500,000 yen ($4,400) fine by the Tottori Summary Court on Jan. 4 for his beating of Takanoiwa. Harumafuji had earlier retired from sumo to take responsibility.

The drunken beating incident occurred at a karaoke lounge in Tottori city on Oct. 26. Harumafuji smacked Takanoiwa with his hand and remote control device several times, causing an injury that required about 12 days to heal.

Tottori prosecutors on Dec. 28 issued a summary indictment against Harumafuji in connection with the attack.

Hot Rod
Revved Up
Thu Jan 04 10:03:04

It is an honorable association, he should have known better.

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