Double standard for sumo wrestlers

This confirms my worst fears about the glaring double standard in Japan’s so-called justice system (“Harumafuji to be sent to prosecutors for alleged assault,” Nov. 22).

Yes, grand champion Harumafuji might very well be guilty of assault, aggravated assault or even assault with a deadly weapon, according to some accounts grabbing a handy beer bottle to viciously strike sumo wrestler Takanoiwa over the head. All of this behavior is criminal in nature, even if his victim was acting “insubordinate” based on the sumo code of hierarchy. Don’t the yakuza also adhere to such a ranking system?

This reader wonders if the police would have acted so swiftly and pushed for an arrest if the suspect was a well-regarded high-ranking Japanese wrestler? And how many times in the past has some poor lower-ranking sumo wrestler of any race or ethnicity suffered a blow to the head with a beer bottle, metal baseball bat or some other blunt object to teach the victim a lesson or simply to vent rage? The sumo world is by its very nature a place of violence, much like the exercise yard of any major prison in the U.S.

After this incident, all sumo wrestlers suspected of criminal assault must be arrested and sent to trial. Select justice is no justice at all. It’s just a lynch party mentality based on prejudice or hate. Poor Harumafuji really did think he was special.

ROBERT MCKINNEY
TAMA, TOKYO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.