[sumo] Changes to the JSA

Harold Shaver hal6671 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 10:34:24 EST 2014

No, Jeff's email is the first I have received on the list in a couple days
at least other than the monthly auto generated SML rules email from the

> -----Original Message-----
> From: sumo-bounces at webtrek.com [mailto:sumo-bounces at webtrek.com] On Behalf
> Of Barbara Ann Klein
> Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 6:26 AM
> To: Sumo Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [sumo] Changes to the JSA
> This is weird. I sent my email about this over a half hour ago and it
> never
> arrived in my inbox. . Also, did anyone receive Katrina's post about the
> Athlete of the Year yesterday? This also did not reach my inbox.
> Regards,
> Barbara
> -------Original Message-------
> From: Jeffrey Anderson
> Date: 2/3/2014 9:20:12 AM
> To: sumo at webtrek.com
> Subject: [sumo] Changes to the JSA
> Sumo association must work hard as new entity to win support of public
> *
> *
> *
> February 3, 2014
> The Yomiuri ShimbunNow that it has become a public interest incorporated
> foundation, the Japan Sumo Association must make the most of this
> opportunity to transform itself into an organization with a self-purifying
> power.
> The Cabinet Office has certified the association as a public interest
> incorporated foundation, and the association has officially registered
> itself as the new type of legal entity.
> The sumo world was rocked by a series of scandals, including the fatal
> assault of a sumo wrestler by stablemates, gambling on baseball, and
> bout-fixing. The association has been told by such entities as the sports
> ministry, which has jurisdiction over the JSA, to implement organizational
> reform, greatly delaying the procedures for the transformation into the
> new
> incorporated foundation.
> With its new status, the JSA will continue to be entitled to preferential
> tax treatment, and revenue from the grand tournaments and tournaments in
> provinces will remain tax-exempt.
> While taking to heart its responsibility of carrying on the tradition of
> sumo wrestling, the JSA had to make an effort to enhance the transparency
> of
> its businesses.
> The most typical example of its opaqueness is the issue of how to deal
> with
> the JSA's "elder shares."
> At present, there are 107 elder shares. Unless a sumo wrestler obtains an
> elder share upon retirement, he cannot become a stablemaster.
> Trade of elder shares
> Elder shares have been traded for huge amounts of money. There are said to
> have been such deals involving several hundred millions of yen. Generally
> speaking, the trading of rights to gain income from the association as a
> stablemaster is a custom hard to understand. In its switch to a public
> interest incorporated foundation, the JSA has stipulated, in its articles
> of
> association, that the elder shares are to be placed under its centralized
> control. Elders who are to retire are able to recommend their replacement,
> but the transfer of money is prohibited at the time of succession. Those
> who
> violate the rule will be severely punished.
> This is a step forward, but a concern remains. Those who succeed to an
> elder
> s name can pay a "guidance fee" to a former elder for advice on how to
> manage a stable, on condition of notifying the JSA.
> Will the trade of elder shares effectively continue under the guise of
> guidance fees? The JSA must develop a strict system to scrutinize this
> possibility.
> It is praiseworthy that the relationship between the JSA and each stable
> has
> been clarified. With regards to the training of sumo wrestlers, the
> association will conclude a commission contract with stablemasters.
> When irregularities occurred in the past, the association often tried to
> put
> an end to scandals by blaming the stables, saying, for instance, "The
> stablemaster's way of nurturing the wrestler was wrong." From now on, the
> association's responsibility to consign training of wrestlers outside
> stables will be put to the test.
> The form of the JSA's council of the board of trustees, the highest
> decision-making organization for the incorporated foundation, will also
> change. The majority of the five- to seven-member council will comprise
> outside experts. It is important to respect the opinions of those outside
> the sumo world to correct long-standing evils.
> For the JSA to win public support as an entity to operate the "national
> sport," sumo wrestlers must give performances to meet the public
> expectations. Hopes are growing for the advent of a Japanese yokozuna. We
> hope both the JSA and sumo stables will make further efforts in fostering
> strong sumo wrestlers.
> (From The Yomiuri Shimbun,
> Feb. 3, 2014)
> Best regards,
> Jeffrey Anderson
> Gaijingai
> For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
> The saddest are these:
> It might have been. - John Greenleaf Whittier
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