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Life & Arts

Mongolia-born sumo champion Hakuho takes Japanese citizenship

Change in nationality necessary for next step in wrestler's career

Hakuho throws down Tochiozan at a Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on March 17. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

TOKYO -- Mongolia-born sumo Grand Champion Hakuho became a Japanese citizen on Tuesday, according to a government media release. The step is necessary for the 34-year-old yokozuna to remain active in the sport when he retires from the ring.

Hakuho holds a record 42 grand championship victories, making him one of the greatest wrestlers to step into the dohyo. He is the third foreign-born yokozuna to acquire Japanese citizenship, according to Kyodo News.

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