Sumo advisory council recommends 'extremely harsh punishment' for Harumafuji
Japan Times -- Nov 28
An advisory body to the Japan Sumo Association has agreed on the need for “extremely harsh punishment” to be meted out to grand champion Harumafuji over his assault of a lower-ranked wrestler, the head of the council said Monday.

"Tremendous damage has been caused (to sumo). It let fans down," said Masato Kitamura, chairman of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, referring to an incident where Harumafuji assaulted Takanoiwa in a drinking session at a restaurant-bar in the western Japan city of Tottori during a regional tour late last month.

Punitive actions that the JSA can take include dismissal, recommending the yokozuna retire or suspending his participation in tournaments.

The powerful yokozuna council is tasked with making recommendations to the JSA over yokozuna promotions in sumo's elite makuuchi division and other related matters concerning grand sumo champions.

In 2010, a recommendation made to the JSA led to the retirement of Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu following reports that he injured a man in a drunken rampage.

Kitamura said some council members also made an issue of the behavior of Hakuho, another grand champion, as "unfitting of a yokozuna," as the JSA says wrestlers of that stature must have good character, not just physical strength.

Hakuho, who clinched his 40th career title in the just-concluded tournament in Fukuoka, told spectators Sunday that he wants Harumafuji and Takanoiwa, who were absent from the tournament, both to return to the ring and urged spectators to shout banzai in unison. Hakuho, Harumafuji and Takanoiwa are all from Mongolia.

News source: Japan Times
Dec 13
A window from a US military helicopter has fallen onto the grounds of an elementary school in Okinawa, Japan's southern prefecture. (NHK)
Dec 12
Severe weather conditions are expected to continue in northern and western Japan through Wednesday. (NHK)
Dec 12
About 100 police and firefighters resumed their search Monday morning for a three-year-old boy who has been missing in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, since Saturday. (Japan Today)
Dec 12
The American husband of a former Japanese abductee has died at the age of 77. (NHK)
Dec 11
Prosecutors investigating Obayashi Corp. suspect the major construction firm rigged a bid for the building of a maglev train station emergency exit, with one of the company's vice presidents brought in voluntarily for questioning about the matter, sources close to the case said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Dec 10
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 38-year-old man from Hiratsuka City for allegedly abducting a middle school student in Aomori Prefecture and confining her at his residence for two months, reports Jiji Press (Dec. 8). (
Dec 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 33-year-old man suspected in 100 purse-snatching incidents over the past few moths in the northern part of the capital, reports the Sankei Shimbun (
Dec 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday raided an office of extremist group Chukaku-ha in Edogawa Ward over harboring a wanted activist, reports TV Asahi (
Dec 10
Police in Hokkaido said Saturday they had arrested three of the crew members of a North Korean fishing boat on suspicion of plundering a remote fishing hut. (Japan Today)
Dec 10
Romance and love are inseparable components of the most sincere and deepest feelings people can experience. (