• Kyodo

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The Japan Sumo Association is expected to name its senior executive manager, Hakkaku, as the organization’s next chairman, a JSA source said Thursday, a day before the board of directors makes its choice.

The 52-year-old Hakkaku, former yokozuna Hokutoumi, has been serving as acting chairman since the sudden death of chairman Kitanoumi during November’s Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

After reaching a consensus, the board of directors will name a new director to serve until the end of March’s Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In April 2014, Hakkaku took over as chief of operations, the No. 2 post in the JSA and since then had served as Kitanoumi’s chief lieutenant.

One member of the board said, “there is no objection” to Hakkaku, who appears to have broad support. Should he be appointed as the JSA’s 13th chairman, Hakkaku will be the first to rise to that position from the Takasago group of stables.

The JSA is expected to select its officer candidates at the end of January and the board of trustees will choose the JSA’s next administration after the March tourney. The selection of chairman will follow as the final part of the process.

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