A 28-year-old man has died three days after choking on an "onigiri" rice ball during a speed eating contest in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture.
According to police, the contest was held on Nov 13 by the local branch of the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA), Sankei Shimbun reported.
To promote locally grown rice, JA East Biwako in Hikone has held the speed eating contest each year. This year's event was held at a wholesale market. There were 15 contestants and each one had to eat five rice balls in three minutes. Organizers had prepared green tea to help the participants swallow the rice balls more easily.
According to JA, the man started choking on his last rice ball and lost consciousness. A doctor, who was present, was unable to help the man, and he was taken to hospital where he died on Nov 16 without regaining consciousness.© Japan Today