The organizer of a spring sumo tour in Gunma Prefecture said Friday the sport's governing body has requested the exclusion of girls from an event for school-aged children, following a similar request made earlier this month.
The event in which children join wrestlers on the ring is scheduled for Sunday in the city of Takasaki, north of Tokyo. In sumo, the ring, or dohyo as it is known, is regarded as sacred and women are forbidden from entering.
(Japan's first women's high school sumo club was established in Kyoto in 2015)
On Thursday, the Japan Sumo Association's public relations chief stablemaster Shibatayama, former yokozuna Onokuni, said the boy-only request was made "in consideration of safety."
The JSA earlier asked the organizer of a sumo tour in Shizuoka, central Japan, to bar girls from taking part in a children's event.
The requests followed a recent incident in Kyoto in which a referee demanded female medics leave a sumo ring while they were providing emergency treatment to a local mayor who had collapsed and suffered a stroke. It drew widespread criticism over sexism and worldwide attention.
(Baruto from Estonia lifts boys during a sumo clinic in Osaka in 2011)
Although the children's event has been held annually in Gunma alongside the "Joshu Takasaki" tour since 2015, girls never participated, according to the organizer.
JSA officials said stablemasters in charge have similarly requested that organizers in other regions bar girls from participating in the events.