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The Japan Sumo Association has dismissed stable master (the former) Tokitsukaze in connection with the death of 17-year-old sumo wrestler Tokitaizan in July shortly after a practice session. The unanimous decision by JSA executives is their heaviest punishment: Tokitsukaze will be expelled from the sumo world forever and no retirement allowances will be paid.

But the JSA should reflect on its tardiness in reaching the decision and on the likelihood that it lost precious time in sending a strong message to the public — that the young wrestler’s death is being considered as a serious issue.

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