New Japan Pro Wrestling announced today that as part of their 50th anniversary celebration they had planned to name Inoki as the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of NJPW, a role which the founder accepted.
He was officially named Honorary Lifetime Chairman on September 1, 2022 and the 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,” the organization said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in footage filmed on September 22, a bed-ridden and very fail-looking Inoki wanted to update his fans on his condition on his YouTube page. The footage was released on October 1 and the subtitles now have been translated to English. The heart-breaking footage can be seen below.