Former Japan Sumo Association chairman Kitanoumi, who resigned in disgrace in 2008 in the wake of a scandal, on Monday became the first in the history of the sport to return to the governing body’s top spot.
The 58-year-old Kitanoumi replaces Hanaregoma, who stepped down as part of the JSA Board reshuffling, since he will reach the retirement age of 65 in February 2013.
Kitanoumi became the 12th JSA chairman, elected in a vote among 10 newly elected directors.
“Most importantly, we have to arrange a crisis-management system, making strong efforts to avoid a recurrence of scandals,” said Kitanoumi. “The sumo association must protect the traditional Japanese sport. I am prepared to devote my life to work for the prosperity of sumo.”