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2013年9月14日 (土)

天理大柔道部 「暴力の連鎖」断つ意識改革を

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 14, 2013
Reform student awareness to end chain of judo violence
天理大柔道部 「暴力の連鎖」断つ意識改革を(9月13日付・読売社説)

It is appalling to see how deeply violence is seated in judo world.

We recognize this as we look at the violence that has been revealed within the judo club of Tenri University, which is known for its distinguished record in competition. The senior club members involved in the violence included former club captain Shohei Ono, who won a gold medal at the recent World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro. He was suspended from the university for slapping freshman members in the face.

Those involved in the violence must reflect seriously on their actions.

The All Japan Judo Federation, which has recently gotten a fresh start under the leadership of new President Shoji Muneoka, will hold a disciplinary committee meeting to study punitive measures against those involved and their supervisors.

How the federation deals with the scandal and what measures it takes to prevent the recurrence of vio-lence will prove a touchstone for the renewed organization with Muneoka at the helm.

From May to July, seniors of the university’s judo club committed acts of violence on junior members who drank water during practice, such as slapping their faces and kicking them. One freshman suffered a ruptured eardrum.

The incidents occurred as the federation was struggling to elimi-nate violence, as it was rocked by physical and verbal abuse involving the head coach of the women’s national judo team. This shows that a sense of urgency did not prevail among those at the forefront of the organization.

What was most outrageous was the response undertaken by the club’s then chief supervisor Shozo Fujii and Tenri University. Despite being fully aware of the spate of violence in July, Fujii assumed the di-rectorship of the judo federation the following month. Fujii and the university did not report the violence to the federation.

Cover-up disgusting act

Their manner of attempting to cover up the scandal was truly disgusting. Fujii resigned as the federation’s director this month after the scandal came to light.

The university’s perfunctory probe into the incident cannot be overlooked. The school merely conducted a one-day interview of only those club members who had been present at the scene of violence and suspended club activities indefinitely based on the interview results. The university is suspected of having tried to bring the inquiry to a close as soon as possible.

It is natural that the judo federation ordered the university to conduct a probe again after denouncing its investigation report as “sloppy.” Through interviews with most of the about 100 club members, it was revealed that the violence was inflicted by Ono and other senior members.

It was significant that in the case of Tenri University’s judo club, the violence was committed not by a coach but by students against other students.

Senior members give strict training to their juniors, and juniors respect them—this sound hierarchi-cal relationship seems fundamental to enhancing the sense of unity at any university club.

But the violence that the seniors committed, which forced the juniors into submission, must be denounced as an outrageous act. Those juniors who were victims of violence will go on to commit violence themselves when they become senior members. Reforming student awareness is necessary to bring the chain of violence to an end.

The issue of violence has come to light in university sport clubs as a whole, and is not solely limited to the judo club in question. All sports organizations must conduct thorough fact-finding surveys in a strenuous effort to stamp out violence.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 13, 2013)
(2013年9月13日01時51分  読売新聞)


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