TOKYO – The head of Japan's sumo association has apologized over an incident in which women first responders were asked to get out of the ring as they attempted to revive an official who collapsed.
In sumo's tradition, the ring is considered sacred and women are prohibited from entering.
That posed a problem Wednesday when the mayor of Maizuru in northern Kyoto collapsed during a ring-top speech. Two women, apparently medical experts, rushed in and started performing first aid.
When two more women rose to the ring, repeated announcements demanded the women get out of the ring.
Footage posted on social media triggered outrage, with many criticizing sumo officials and saying they were choosing tradition over life.
Sumo chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku called the announcement inappropriate and apologized late Wednesday.