According to Shibatayama-oyakata, a final decision on whether or not to hold Natsu Basho could be made by the Japan Sumo Association as soon as May 4th, the same day that the government is expected to make an announcement regarding the extension of a state of emergency.
“I believe the sumo association will make a move on Monday in accordance with that (the government’s decision),” Shibatayama said. The current state of emergency in Japan is set to end on May 6th, but an extension, depending on how long it is, could overlap with the already postponed summer tournament which would begin on the 24th and run until June 7th.
However, getting the association’s eight or so directors to come together to make a decision over a conference call may prove difficult. And even if a verdict is reached on the 4th, “I’m not sure if it will be made public on the 4th or not,” said Shibatayama, “We’ll be watching the situation carefully until the last minute. We really feel like holding the tournament, but we have to consider the fact that it may be requested that we use self-restraint.”