Sumo

Takanoiwa drops lawsuit against ex-yokozuna Harumafuji over assault

Kyodo

Wrestler Takanoiwa on Tuesday dropped a damages suit filed against former yokozuna Harumafuji for an assault last year, saying his family in Mongolia has been subject to abuse over the legal action.

In the civil suit filed earlier this month, Takanoiwa sought ¥24 million ($213,000) in damages, including medical expenses and lost salary, as well as benefits and bonuses he may have earned had he not been injured by the yokozuna.

Harumafuji faced a summary indictment in December for assaulting Takanoiwa with a karaoke machine remote control at a lounge bar in the city of Tottori on Oct. 26 last year, inflicting injuries that required 12 days to heal.

Harumafuji, who resigned in November to take the blame for the assault, paid a fine of ¥500,000 imposed by the Tottori Summary Court.

Takanoiwa said in a statement he has decided to cover his own medical expenses and will not seek damages after his family at home asked him to give up the suit, saying they cannot stand the abuse from their fellow Mongolians who hold Harumafuji in high regard.

Harumafuji is involved in charity activities in Mongolia and has set up a Japanese-style school for elementary to secondary students.

Harumafuji’s lawyer said the former yokozuna’s “intent to deal sincerely with the compensation remains unchanged.”