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Sumo wrestler Hakuho bumps into PM Abe at Tokyo restaurant, gets encouragement

Sumo yokozuna Hakuho gives an interview after obtaining the Japanese citizenship, at the Miyagino stable in Tokyo's Sumida Ward on Sept. 3, 2019. (Mainichi/Hironobu Murakoso)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party executives at the party's headquarters in Tokyo on the morning of Sept. 3, 2019. (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and top-ranked sumo wrestler Hakuho, who has just obtained the Japanese citizenship, met by chance at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo's Akasaka district on the evening of Sept. 3.

Abe offered a word of encouragement to the Mongolian-born grappler, telling him to keep doing his best, to which Hakuho responded, "I'll keep doing my best as a Japanese citizen."

Abe was dining at the restaurant with former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, and Koichi Hagiuda, executive acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Hakuho, who was eating with a different group, is said to have approached the prime minister to greet him.

(Japanese original by Hironori Takechi, Political News Department)

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