• Kyodo News

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NHK said Thursday it will resume live coverage of sumo when the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament gets under way in Tokyo on Sept. 12.

Shigeo Fukuchi, chairman of NHK, said at a news conference that the broadcaster will resume live broadcasts because the Japan Sumo Association has pledged to sever ties with the yakuza and reform the sport, and viewers are demanding the return of live coverage.

However, Fukuchi added that NHK may suspend live coverage again if a new problem arises and the sumo association fails to address it properly.

NHK skipped live coverage of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July after 10 wrestlers in the top makuuchi and juryo divisions were suspended from the tournament, and ozeki Kotomitsuki was banned for life for illegal gambling on baseball, a huge source of revenue for organized crime.

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