Arashio, a retired sumo wrestler and current stablemaster who hails from China's Inner Mongolia region, has spoken out against a decision by Beijing to install Mandarin Chinese as the language of instruction in his home region's schools.

"Why would they do such a terrible thing? Ninety-nine percent of Mongolians are angry with the measure," Arashio told Kyodo News in a recent interview.

Arashio's public statement is the first from a Mongolian sumo wrestler, active or retired, about China's so-called "bilingual education" policy that ethnic Mongolians say is endangering their native language.