November 28, 2017
Tokyo- Japan Sumo Association chief Hakkaku apologized to Daichi Suzuki, commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency, on Tuesday over alleged violence by top sumo wrestler Harumafuji.
"I'm really sorry," Hakkaku told Suzuki in their meeting at the agency. "Violence can never be tolerated, given that the association is a public interest incorporated foundation," Hakkaku said.
Suzuki said the scandal amounts to a betrayal of the public. "I want (the association) to achieve accountability," he said.
Hakkaku said the association will take steps, including holding seminars for wrestlers, to prevent any repeat of the scandal.
Harumafuji, a yokozuna grand champion, has admitted that he assaulted junior wrestler Takanoiwa over drinks last month.
Suzuki pointed out that the association failed to act in a timely manner after it received a report about the alleged assault from police on Nov. 2.
The association may have been able to investigate the case before the Kyushu grand sumo tournament began on Nov. 12, Suzuki said. The tournament took place in the southwestern city of Fukuoka through Sunday.
"I want you to review the way in which the sumo association is operated as well," Suzuki said.
Takanoiwa's stable master, Takanohana, has declined to allow the association to question Takanoiwa, citing his poor health.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Suzuki, Hakkaku said the sumo association will make efforts to resolve the scandal as early as possible, while holding talks with the stable master. Jiji Press
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