National / Crime & Legal

Ex-coach of yokozuna Hakuho given suspended prison term


The Tokyo District Court on Friday sentenced a former sumo coach of grand sumo champion Hakuho to three years in prison, suspended for four years, for beating and injuring his private driver last year.

Kazuyuki Yamamura, 46, a former head of the Miyagino stable, repeatedly beat the driver using a metal bat and hammer between last January and July, according to the ruling.

Yamamura, who used to be known as stablemaster Kumagatani, “reproached the victim for insignificant matters and committed dangerous crimes which he called penalties,” presiding Judge Hideyuki Suzuki said in handing down the ruling.

The prison term is suspended as Yamamura has paid the victim ¥1.53 million ($13,500) in damages and reflected on what he did, the judge also said.

Yamamura was the stablemaster when Mongolian Hakuho was promoted to yokozuna in 2007. But he was demoted to a coach in 2010 after a weekly magazine reported he confessed to match fixing.

The Japan Sumo Association dismissed him after he was arrested for the assault last September.