Japan fans explain why they clean up after World Cup matches

Japan fans have candidly opened up on the main reasons for why they clean up after themselves at the end of each match at the World Cup.

The Japanese fans at the World Cup have earned praise from many people around the world for their kind actions after the final whistle against Germany on Wednesday.

Now, they have explained exactly why they choose to clean up the stands at the end of the matches.

“Our heart is clean, so the stands must be clean. This means the team reaches its destiny,” one fan said to Al Jazeera after Japan’s stunning 2-1 win over Germany.

A number of fans then referenced the word ‘atarimae’, which translates to ‘stating the obvious’.

Another fan said: “What we’re taught is that leaving things cleaner than the way you found it is atarimae. And that we should always express gratitude.”

While one fan who carried blue plastic bags to hand out to fellow supporters explained: “We distribute these bags to everyone who sits in the Japan fan seats.

“So when our team succeeds we can paint the area blue. To tidy and clean when we leave is a manifestation of our culture.”

Someone else added: “It’s because we’re taught it by our parents and through education.”

Many fans were surprised and shocked when they saw Japanese fans tidying after the match, which surprised Danno, who said: “What you think is special is actually nothing unusual for us.

“When we use the toilet, we clean it ourselves. When we leave a room, we make sure it’s tidy. That’s the custom.

“We can’t leave a place without making it clean. It’s a part of our education, everyday learning.”

Fellow Japanese fan Saysuka added: “Cleanliness and tidiness is like religion to us in Japan and we treasure it.”

Japan’s shock win over Germany puts them in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup. Hajime Moriyasu’s men will face Costa Rica next before closing out their Group E against Spain.


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