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NJPW named Antonio Inoki 'Honorary Lifetime Chairman' prior to his death

The information was supposed to be made public at NJPW Declaration of Power.

Before Antonio Inoki's passing, he accepted an honorary role with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

NJPW issued an announcement today revealing that, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, it had decided to name Inoki as the company's "Honorary Lifetime Chairman." Inoki accepted the invitation, and he was officially named Honorary Lifetime Chairman on September 1. The information was going to be made public at NJPW's Declaration of Power event on October 10.

The role was to celebrate Inoki's contributions as NJPW's founder, a wrestler, and beyond.

NJPW wrote:

New Japan Pro-Wrestling wishes once again to express profound grief at the passing of founder Antonio Inoki, and our deepest sympathies to fans, family and friends.

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, and to celebrate Antonio Inoki’s role as a founder, wrestler and beyond, NJPW had planned to name Mr. Inoki the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. After Antonio Inoki graciously accepted the invitation, he was officially named Honorary Lifetime Chairman on September 1 2022.

This information was due to be made public on October 10 at Declaration of Power in Ryogoku Sumo Hall. It is to our deep sadness that this announcement cannot take place as previously planned. However, in accordance with Mr. Inoki’s wishes, all of us at New Japan Pro-Wrestling will continue to move forward and lead the professional wrestling world to the utmost of our abilities.  

NJPW was founded by Inoki in January 1972.

Inoki, one of the most powerful and influential figures in pro wrestling history, died at 79 years old on October 1.