NHK charity sumo event raises funds for 6 vehicles for quake-hit facilities

An NHK charity sumo event has raised funds to purchase six vehicles to be used by welfare organizations in the areas devastated by the New Year's Day earthquake.

The event, organized by NHK and an NHK-affiliated organization, was held on Saturday at Tokyo's Ryougoku Kokugikan arena. About 4,300 people attended.

At the event, sumo wrestler Endo handed the keys to the six vehicles to a representative of welfare organizations in Ishikawa Prefecture. The wrestler is from one of the towns in the prefecture that was hit hardest by the earthquake.

Among those on stage was sumo wrestler Kotonowaka, who was promoted to the second highest rank of Ozeki after his 13-2 result in the previous tourney.

Kotonowaka said his aspiration as an Ozeki is to win another tournament and build a foothold to strive for the highest rank of Yokozuna. He received a big round of applause from the spectators.

Later, sumo wrestlers and their stable masters showed off their singing voices. Veteran wrestler Takayasu and up-and-coming 21-year-old wrestler Atamifuji particularly excited fans.