NJPW President Asks That Vocal Ban Be Lifted In Japan


New Japan Pro Wrestling President Takami Ohbari has asked for the ban on vocal crowd noise in Japan to be lifted. NJPW shows have been largely absent of loud crowd reactions since the start of the pandemic, though that was somewhat undone in September when fans at reduced-capacity shows were given the ability to cheer again.

NJPW reports that Ohbari was one of the figures representing pro wrestling at a meeting of combat sports organizations in Japan recently with NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi, CyberFight President Sanshiro Takagi, and TJPW Co-Founder Tetsuya Koda also representing the industry. During the meeting, Ohbari requested that the ban on vocal crowd noise be lifted for all events.


According to a report from NJPW1982.com, Ohbari said the following:

“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.”

No final decision was made at the meeting. The group’s lead representative said that they’re consulting with experts and will continue to track the situation.

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