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Wednesday, May 9, 2001

JSA to downsize training tours

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) said Monday it will downsize the scale of its regional training tours which have lost their profitability over the last few years.

The JSA board of directors agreed to shorten the tours from the current 50-60 days a year and hold them at smaller venues in the wake of declining popularity and a decrease in tour revenue from 3 billion yen in 1997 to 2.4 billion yen last year.

The JSA also confirmed it will resume sole control of the tours next year after letting public relations companies take part in the promotion and operation of the tours in recent years with corporate sponsorship deals involved.

The tours have been a staple in maintaining sumo's popularity throughout Japan, with the JSA taking its top wrestlers to smaller cities and towns for training and some practice matches during the time between the six major grand sumo tournaments.

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The Japan Times

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