Tuesday, 5th May 2009
Sumo wrestler granted permanent residency
Asashoryu, the Mongolian sumo grand champion, has been given permission to live permanently in Japan, it has emerged.
The wrestler, who has become one of the sport's most successful yokozuna, came to the country in 1997 on a student exchange to the Meitoku Gijuku High School's sumo club, reports Kyodo News.
He said he was relieved at no longer having to endure going through the bureaucracy involved with extending his previous visa every 12 months.
Under Japanese law, foreign nationals must have lived in the country for at least ten years before they become eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Asashoryu will be competing in the upcoming Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo where he will be aiming to secure his 24th Emperor's Cup.
In related news, Japan's sumo wrestlers have given their support to random drug tests in a bid to improve the sport's reputation following a number of high-profile scandals.
Written by Mark Smith
Related news stories:
Sumo star warned over drug injections (9th November 2011)
Pilot shows there's life after sumo (16th October 2008)
Top Japan sumo wrestler retires (6th October 2008)
Yokozuna Asashoryu suffers first-day sumo defeat (12th May 2008)
Former sumo star sports police badge (13th September 2011)