New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following statement this morning, announcing that NJPW President Harold Meij is resigning from the company and will be replaced by Takami Ohbari:

At a meeting of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s parent company Bushiroad’s board of directors today September 29, 2020, a change was announced in NJPW’s directorship. This change will take effect at the beginning of NJPW’s 50th year of trading on October 23rd.

Outgoing President/CEO: Harold Meij

New NJPW President/CEO (as of October 23): Takami Ohbari (current NJPW of America CEO)

Meij, who was appointed president of NJPW in May of 2018, wrote a piece on NJPW’s website blog and apologized to fans for resigning during the ongoing G1 Climax 30 event (English version thanks to Google Translator).

Hello everyone. As announced earlier, I, Harold Meij, will retire as President of New Japan Pro-Wrestling on October 23, next month.

Even though we have escaped from the difficult times when we couldn’t play at all due to the corona wreck, the impact still remains. I wanted to continue this mission responsibly until the day when I could say “I’ve returned to the state before Corona” and “New Japan Pro Wrestling is completely okay”, but I have to say goodbye to everyone. It’s time to have to. Please forgive me for the announcement at this time during the “G1 CLIMAX 30” due to the general meeting of shareholders.

I came to Japan from the Netherlands at the age of 8 and met professional wrestling. Since then, I have received a lot of courage, power to live, fun and excitement from professional wrestling. When I got this job and started watching professional wrestling from a close distance, my thoughts did not change, and on the contrary, I became even more fond of professional wrestling. It was a very rewarding, fulfilling and enjoyable time to work together while sharing roles with Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi of the same year. “I want more people to see professional wrestling,” and “I want to increase the brand value of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.” Every day I was thinking about these two things. I think it was two and a half years that I was able to take on many challenges with my employees and achieve results such as business expansion. And New Japan Pro-Wrestling is the best organization where all the players and all employees are wonderful, their talents and efforts are gathered and teamwork is outstanding. It was a short time, but I am delighted to be involved in this work, and I am proud of this in the future.

And last but not least, I would like to convey my thoughts to all the fans who support New Japan Professional Wrestling. Since taking office, I have received many opinions, requests, criticisms and words of encouragement from everyone on Twitter. Just as a professional wrestler receives, receives, receives, and fights, I also wanted to read and read all the comments from everyone and use them to improve the company. From daily ego search, I learned about everyone’s expectations and points to be improved, which was a great learning experience. There were many things that I strongly sympathized with, reviewed by tweets and suggestions, and noticed anew.

At first, I had some harsh opinions about me, but as I spelled out my thoughts in the column, there was a moment when I thought that I might have accepted it a little. And now I feel a bond with everyone. In mid-May this year, when the corona wreck was the most difficult and uncertain, I explained the situation in New Japan on a YouTube video, but I will never forget the warm comments from everyone who watched it.

There was a period of self-restraint from March, and it took three and a half months to start the unattended game, and about four and a half months to resume the spectator game, which was a long and heavy time. Even so, many people did not cancel the New Japan Pro Wrestling World or smartphone sites and waited for the time to resume. I think that the true heroes who protected New Japa

Pro-Wrestling in the unprecedented crisis of corona wreckage were the fans.

Before the Corona disaster, I often stood in the lobby of the venue to welcome you, so many people’s faces come to my mind. I also received a lot of letters. I can’t express my gratitude in words. I’m really thankful to you. Pro-wrestling shines and is completed only when there are fans who support it. I think so. Please do your best and look forward to your continued support of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

I will work hard until the last day, but Mr. Takami Ohari, who will be appointed president from the end of October, is a very talented, young, active person who is fluent in English. I am confident that New Japan Professional Wrestling will continue to grow in the future.


All pics and videos courtesy of NJPW

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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