The magnitude of their win over Germany could have seen them go off into the night in celebration but Japan’s fans demonstrated that the best manners and habits are ingrained, no matter the situation.
Come full-time, the stands of sporting stadia are usually littered with used food trays and wrappers and empty drinks cups, left behind for someone else to clean up.
Their players, fresh from a 2-1 victory over the four-time champions in their World Cup opener, had barely left the pitch when the Japanese in the crowd pressed pause on the party to tidy up after themselves at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.
They did the same at the World Cup in Russia four years ago, most notably after a 3-2 defeat by Belgium in the last 16, and again in the 2022 tournament opener between hosts Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday – a match their team wasn’t involved in.
In Japan, cleanliness is a part of the culture and is drilled into its people from early childhood.