春場所中止 八百長が土俵の火を消した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 8, 2011)
Torch of sumo tradition flickers after match-fixing
春場所中止 八百長が土俵の火を消した(2月7日付・読売社説)

Can the Japan Sumo Association continue to bear the responsibility of carrying on sumo as the "national sport"? The JSA faces the crisis of its existence being called into question as it has been forced to cancel a forthcoming sumo tournament.
 今後も「国技」を担っていけるのか。本場所を開催できない事態に追い込まれ、日本相撲協会は存立そのものが問われる危機に直面している。

Shaken by a match-fixing scandal, the JSA decided Sunday to cancel the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament scheduled to start on March 13 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
 八百長問題で揺れる相撲協会が、3月13日から大阪府立体育会館で開く予定だった春場所を中止することを決めた。

It is the first cancellation of a grand tournament in 65 years since the 1946 summer grand tournament was canceled due to a delay in repair work on the previous Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena amid the postwar chaos. This is the first time for a grand tourney to be canceled due to a scandal, leaving a hard-to-erase blemish on the long history of sumo.
 本場所の中止は65年ぶり、戦後の混乱期、国技館の改修工事が遅れた1946年夏場所以来のことだ。不祥事による中止は、過去に例がない。大相撲の長い歴史においても、消し難い汚点である。

As reasons for the cancellation, the JSA said, among other things, it would otherwise be impossible to obtain the understanding of fans and it would take time to conduct investigations of the 14 current and former sumo wrestlers allegedly involved in the scandal. JSA Chairman Hanaregoma told a news conference, "We cannot show sumo matches on the dohyo ring until we can eliminate the pus [from the sport]."
 ファンの理解が得られない。八百長疑惑に名前が挙がった14人の力士の調査に時間がかかる。それらが本場所中止の理由だ。相撲協会の放駒理事長は「ウミを出し切るまでは、土俵で相撲をお見せすることはできない」と語った。

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Fans betrayed

The top priority of the JSA should be to thoroughly probe the match-fixing scandal and severely punish all found to be involved. If this is taken into consideration, the JSA's cancellation of the spring grand tournament was the right decision.
 相撲協会が最優先になすべきは、八百長の実態を徹底解明し、関与した力士らを厳しく処分することだ。それを考えれば、春場所の中止は、当然の判断である。

Match-fixing flatly contradicts any claim that sumo is a real fighting sport. It also represents a betrayal of the fans, who expect to see hard-fought bouts.
 大相撲が真剣勝負の競技であるならば、八百長はそれを真っ向から否定する行為だ。白熱した土俵を楽しみにしているファンに対する裏切りでもある。

Many fans in Osaka must feel regret over the cancellation of the spring tournament, which is the only basho held in the city each year.
 大阪で本場所が開かれるのは年1回のため、中止を残念に思うファンも多いだろう。

But if the tournament were to be held under the present circumstances, suspicious eyes would be cast even over wrestlers not involved in the match-fixing scandal. If sumo becomes suspect, it does not deserve the claim of being the national sport.
 しかし、今の状況では、八百長にかかわっていない力士にも、疑いの目が向けられよう。疑念を持たれる土俵は、「国技」を名乗るに値しない。

A seven-member special investigation panel, consisting of four lawyers and three other outsiders, is tasked with uncovering the whole truth behind the scandal. The panel has conducted a questionnaire survey of all wrestlers and other JSA members concerning their involvement in the match-fixing scandal. But we think it is impossible to grasp the whole picture with such a pro forma probe alone.
 全容解明にあたっているのは、弁護士ら外部のメンバーで組織する特別調査委員会だ。全力士らを対象に、八百長への関与の有無を確認するアンケートを実施した。だが、形式的な調査だけで真相を把握できるはずがない。

It is necessary to make in-depth investigations by going as far as interrogating the suspected wrestlers after analyzing past bouts suspected to have been fixed.
 過去に八百長が疑われた取組を分析したうえで事情聴取するなど、踏み込んだ調査が必要だ。

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JSA claim falls flat

The JSA had persistently asserted, "There is no match-fixing whatsoever." The association has established punitive steps for intentionally spiritless bouts and issued warnings to wrestlers every time their bouts were found to lack a fighting spirit. But it had never probed whether they fixed matches.
 相撲協会は一貫して「八百長は存在しない」と主張してきた。故意の無気力相撲に関する罰則規定を設けて、闘争心に欠ける相撲を取った力士には、その都度、注意などをしてきたが、八百長かどうかの調査は行ってこなかった。

As some of the 14 current and former wrestlers suspected to have been involved in the scandal admitted the alleged match-fixing, the JSA's assumption of "no match-fixing whatsoever" has crumbled. The association must clearly mention in its punitive provisions that wrestlers found to be involved in match-fixing will be expelled from the sumo world.
 今回、疑惑が持たれている14人の力士の一部が八百長行為を認めたことで、「八百長はない」との前提は崩れた。八百長相撲を取った力士を除名などにすると規定に明記すべきだ。

The JSA is a public-interest corporation entitled to preferential tax treatment. The association must remember it has the responsibility of working out measures that can convince the public that the sport is clean.
 相撲協会は、税制面で優遇を受けている公益法人だ。社会が納得できる措置を講じる責任があることを忘れてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 7, 2011)
(2011年2月7日01時07分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-02-08 14:51 | 英字新聞

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