Sumo tournament cancelled amid match-fixing scandal‎

File photo of Sumo wrestlers For many Japanese, sumo is a much-loved part of their national culture

Related Stories

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) has cancelled next month's grand tournament over allegations of match fixing.

It is the first such cancellation since 1946 - when Tokyo's main stadium was being renovated.

Police are investigating allegations of match fixing in which 13 senior wrestlers have been implicated.

It follows another scandal over illegal gambling last year which saw live television coverage of the sport dropped by national broadcaster NHK.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the match-fixing scandal a betrayal of the people.

Sumo has its origins in religious rites and wrestlers are expected to observe a strict code of behaviour.

In the latest allegations the JSA chairman said last week that text messages found on mobile phones suggested that 13 senior wrestlers had been implicated.

One reportedly went into detail of how he would attack and the other would fall, in exchange for hundreds of thousands of yen (100,000 yen equals $1,227 or £757).

The messages came to light after police confiscated phones last year during an investigation into illegal gambling on baseball games by wrestlers using gangster middlemen.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia-Pacific stories



  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?

  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.