NJPW President Takami Ohbari Formally Requests Crowd Noise Ban Be Lifted Entirely Throughout Japan

NJPW Logo Over JONAH, New Japan

NJPW’s president appealed to local authorities in Japan to reconsider the current ban on crowd noise.

Pro-wrestling in Japan is officially categorized as a combat sport and falls under the same regulations as MMA and other martial arts. And like its fellow wrestling companies, NJPW has been forced to operate under tight restrictions surrounding crowd noise during the COVID Pandemic and even to the present day after the worst has passed.

New Japan’s president Takami Ohbari, CyberFight (parent company of DDT and NOAH) president Sanshiro Takagi and Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling co-founder Tetsuya Koda represented the wrestling industry in these talks.

Speaking on behalf of both his own company and the pro-wrestling industry as a whole, Ohbari asked that venues and local government ease restrictions regarding crowd noise at wrestling events.

It was previously noted that, beginning in 2023, NJPW shows would allow crowd noise again but only in certain specifically-designated areas therein. However, NJPW’s president worries that some venues and local governments will simply ignore this rule, which will only complicate Japanese wrestling’s return to normalcy further.

“There is a rule that says that if there is no vocal crowd noise, then the venue can accommodate 100% of the audience, but I would like you to reintroduce such a rule set by the government.

There are venues and municipalities that do not accept the new rule, which states that areas with shouting can be accommodated at 50 percent capacity, while areas without shouting can be accommodated at 100 percent capacity, and these can coexist.

Public agencies are no longer tracking people who have come into close contact with the public. Many venues are still required to have the contact information of individuals. The handling of personal information is very sensitive and burdensome.”

In response, the representatives of the venues and municipalities noted that consultations are ongoing on this matter.

h/t Fightful for the transcription