Seiji Sakaguchi, Keiji Muto honored in government sports awards

March 2 saw prominent sports figures honored by the Japanese government’s ministry of education, science and culture. The special ceremony, in its 52nd year honored legendary NJPW figures in Seiji Sakaguchi and Keiji Muto for their life of distinguished service in the sporting world. Keiji Muto retired recently in Tokyo Dome after a 38 year career, while Sakaguchi has been a key figure throughout the history of NJPW and an important partner to the late great Antonio Inoki in the ring and behind the scenes. Accepting Sakaguchi’s award on his behalf at the ceremony was President Takami Ohbari, with Sakaguchi giving the following comment:

‘I’m deeply honored to accept this award. For a long time I worked in support of Antonio Inoki, and we worked to develop New Japan Pro-Wrestling and lead the wrestling business as a whole. I think those efforts are what’s led to this award today and I hope that the wrestling industry continues to evolve and excel. Thank you very much’