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Japan's Fans 'Make Statement' at World Cup—With Trash Bags

Japanese fans came armed to clean up the stadium after their team's match
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2018 6:35 AM CDT
Japan's supporters hold fans prior to the game between Colombia and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(Newser) – They showed up at the World Cup match sporting trash bags. That's what the BBC is reporting about fans of "Samurai Blue," the Japanese national soccer team that beat Colombia's players 2-1 Tuesday in Russia. After the soccer teams' jobs were done in Saransk's Mordovia Arena, Japanese fans got to work cleaning up the stadium, reaching down under chairs and on the ground to pick up litter others had left behind. "An important aspect of Japanese society is making sure that everything is absolutely clean, and that's the case in all sporting events," sports reporter Scott McIntyre says.

This dedication to cleanliness is a habit Japanese people often have impressed on them when they're kids, tasked with cleaning their classrooms and other parts of their schools, Osaka University sociology professor Scott North adds. Fans from Japan went on a similar cleaning spree during 2014's World Cup. They're not alone in promoting clean spectating: Senegalese fans have also been spotted indulging their tidying-up tendencies during this year's competition; the two teams face each other on Sunday, virtually ensuring a spick-and-span stadium afterward. These are efforts that haven't gone unnoticed by fans from other countries, per Mashable. "Massive respect. We should all learn from them," one witness tweeted in awe. (Read more 2018 World Cup stories.)

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