Social media has been agog with pictures and comments about Japanese fans at the World Cup bagging trash after the country’s matches with Germany and Costa Rica.
What some may not realise is that this is Japan’s seventh straight World Cup, and their cleanliness began making news at their first World Cup in 1998 in France.
Still, the sight of Japanese fans at a World Cup bagging trash after a match — win or lose — always surprises non-Japanese. But Japanese players are famous for doing the same in their team dressing room: hanging up towels, cleaning the floor, and even leaving a thank-you note. So, it’s nothing unusual for Japanese fans or players. They are simply doing what most people in Japan do — at home, at school, at work, or on streets from Tokyo to Osaka, Shizuoka to Sapporo.
“For Japanese people, this is just the normal thing to do,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said according to VOA. “When you leave, you have to leave a place cleaner than it was before. That’s the education we have been taught. That’s the basic culture we have. For us, it’s nothing special.”
In fact, a spokesperson for the Japanese Football Association said it’s supplying 8,000 trash bags to help fans pick up after matches with “thank you” messages on the outside written in Arabic, Japanese, and English.
And, so, Japan’s supporters continue to win army of fans online as they to stay behind to clean up the stadium
After seeing their nation record a shock win over Germany in their first game, heartbroken Japanese fans were devastated after Costa Rica’s Keysher Fuller stole all three points in their second match of the tournament..
However, while many football fans would have been distraught, Japan’s supporters once again showed their class by staying behind to clean up the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.
According to Daily Mail, the Japan supporters gathered widespread support after they were pictured cleaning up not only for their own match against Germany but also during the World Cup opener, Qatar vs Ecuador.
Incredible images, the outlet stated, showed fans holding up bags inside the stadium before the match that they would later use to pick up the rubbish in the stands after.
The admirable move in the sweltering Qatar heat has been widely commended.
After seeing the Japan fans clearing up again, ‘One user said: ‘These guys are the real winners of the World Cup!’
Another said: ‘Even after defeat, Japan fans still cleaned up the stadium’.
Meanwhile the official FIFA account said: ‘In victory or defeat, there is always respect. Thank you for helping to #SaveThePlanet, Japan fans!’
Another fan said: ‘Respect for Japan Fans even after losing 1-0 to Costa Rica.’