大相撲改革 世間の常識が通用する協会に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 19, 2010)
Sumo body must shed closed culture
大相撲改革 世間の常識が通用する協会に(7月18日付・読売社説)

Stamping out evil practices that have taken deep root in the Japan Sumo Association is the only way to rebuild the national sport, which has lost public trust due to illegal gambling by sumo wrestlers and officials on pro baseball.

We hope the "independent committee concerning improvement of governance," which was inaugurated with 11 third-party members to reform the JSA, will present a road map toward the sumo body's rebirth that can fully satisfy sumo fans.

The committee, which held its first meeting Friday, is mostly discussing ways to eliminate the involvement of organized crime syndicates, prevent the recurrence of scandals and strengthen the JSA's crisis management methods, before the panel comes up with a reform proposal. These are unavoidable and important tasks for drastically overhauling the JSA.

As the committee's name suggests, there is no doubt that the JSA, which is run by former sumo wrestlers, is remarkably incapable of governing its own affairs.


JSA's faulty logic at issue

The thinking that "only people in the sumo world can understand sumo" has led to the JSA's closed culture. Logic that does not hold water in the world at large has put a brake on the body's own reform efforts. This is the source of the saying, "Common sense in the sumo world equals thoughtlessness in the wider world."

Some stablemasters opposed the appointment of Hiroyoshi Murayama, a former chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, to the post of acting chairman, despite the fact that the gambling scandal led to unprecedented consequences such as the dismissal of the ozeki wrestler Kotomitsuki.

What first must be eliminated is this inward-looking logic.

Two of the current JSA directors who decide important matters for the association come from outside sumo. The JSA finally opened its doors to the outside world after the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry requested the body appoint outsiders to its board following the 2007 case in which a teenage sumo wrestler was fatally abused by fellow wrestlers in the Tokitsukaze stable.


Reform requires outside push

However, such efforts to date have been far from satisfactory. To steadily move forward with reform at the JSA, it is necessary to increase the number of directors from outside sumo. We hope the independent committee will compile a sweeping proposal that includes increasing the number of outside JSA directors to a majority.

The gambling scandal will not be brought to a close just because stablemasters and sumo wrestlers stopped gambling. It is said that organized crime syndicates run the gambling on pro baseball games. It is crucial and paramount that the sumo world completely cut its ties with mobsters.

It is essential to apply stern punishment, up to and including dismissal, to stablemasters and sumo wrestlers who had relationships with organized crime syndicates.

The Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament--which is being held under the extraordinary circumstances of NHK declining to broadcast live coverage of the tourney and six wrestlers in the top makuuchi division having been suspended--has entered its middle phase.

Vacant seats are noticeable at the 15-day tourney and prize money has fallen sharply. These factors indicate the depth of the wound suffered by the JSA as a result of the recent gambling scandal.

The JSA never will be able to restore the public trust it has lost unless the body is reborn as an open organization and resolutely carries out bold reforms.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 18, 2010)
(2010年7月18日01時06分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-19 06:40 | 英字新聞

<< 天国へ旅立ったおじいさん、どう... 豪雨被害 的確な情報で早めの避難を >>