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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007

Visa issue delays Asa's return

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu, who has been recuperating in his native country, is scheduled to return to Japan on Nov. 30, stablemaster Takasago said Tuesday. Asashoryu, who is serving a two-tournament suspension, had originally planned to return next Monday but had to postpone his trip due to a snag with his visa. "We had talked about him coming back on Nov. 26 (next Monday), but he wasn't able to return because of a visa issue," Takasago said. Asashoryu is scheduled to meet with Japan Sumo Association chairman Kitanoumi and other JSA top officials in the afternoon at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan after landing at Narita airport. He will later arrange a press conference with his stablemaster. It was presumed that the 27-year-old would make a formal apology for his behavior at the Yokozuna Deliberation Council's meeting next Monday, but Takasago said making the apology there was not binding. "It's not like the Yokozuna council has demanded that he apologize," Takasago said.

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