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
Nov 16
On 14 October, the Minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshitaka Sakurada was questioned by opposition party members in the Japanese Diet. In one particular exchange with Constitutional Democratic Party member Masato Imai he made a surprising revelation. (soranews24.com)
Nov 15
A Japanese high court on Wednesday overturned a lower court decision and acquitted a tattooist for operating without a medical license, ruling the process is not a medical practice. (Kyodo)
Nov 15
Between 260,000 and 340,000 foreign workers are estimated to flow into Japan in the five years from next April through an envisioned immigration control law revision aimed at dealing with the country's serious labor crunch, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Public broadcaster NHK announced Wednesday the lineup for its annual New Year’s Eve music extravaganza, but K-pop group BTS — under fire recently for a controversial T-shirt worn by one of its members — was not included. (Japan Times)
Nov 15
Japan's economy contracted for the first time in 2 quarters. Government officials say a string of natural disasters in the period dented exports and consumer spending. (NHK)
Nov 15
SoftBank Group Corp. is continuing to push money into one of its biggest investments: WeWork Cos. (Japan Times)
Nov 15
Japan will help countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations groom 80,000 manufacturing and digital industry specialists over five years, part of a broader effort by Tokyo toward cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. (Nikkei)
Nov 14
Japan's government has projected up to 47,000 foreign workers could come to the country in fiscal 2019 under proposed revisions to the immigration law. (NHK)
Nov 14
The dark side lurking within the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku Ward — today, something like a mix of a theme park and a strip club — can easily get lost amid its blinking lights and the roar of Godzilla. (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 14
Health officials in Japan say nearly 2,000 people have contracted rubella, or German measles, this year. (NHK)