The Japanese fans explained why they clean the stadiums after the games: “We have to help, we have been taught that since we were children”

Japan fans clean Khalifa International Stadium after the win over Germany (Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Japan fans clean Khalifa International Stadium after the win over Germany (Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

* Special envoy to Doha, Qatar

Maybe it shouldn’t be news, but it is. As logical as the action may be, it is something unprecedented among fans from the 32 countries that landed in Qatar. As has happened in other World Cups, the fans of the japanese team they remain in the stands at the end of their country’s match and do not leave until they collect all the waste that was left between the seats.

Respect for others and awareness of a cleaner and more orderly planet should be a fundamental premise anywhere in the world. But to this day, it is still news. That’s why, infobae he spoke to several Japanese in Doha to try to understand a little more about their culture.

Megumi is a young woman from the city of Kobe who hesitates for a second when we tell her that we are from Argentina, but instantly brings out a smile when we follow the “Messi” behind the country’s reference. She is a constant of this World Cup. As if Messi and Argentina were part of a compound name. The importance of the role of Rosario becomes clearer with each step, it exceeds sport. She exhibits a certain astonishment when we show her the note from her on her cell phone. infobae about the fans removing the trash in the Khalifa International Stadium. She is almost surprised and thinks for a moment while she rehearses an explanation.

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“We don’t have a reason,” he clarifies. We think it is better to live in a cleaner place and also because we want to thank the place we visited“, summarizes. He also exposes his surprise to a couple of Japanese fans when we tell him why we want to talk to them. They do not speak English, but they take time to write his thoughts on their cell phones: “It is a habit. I’ve been taught that way since I was a child”.

Naokitamura arrived from Saitama to Doha and is one of the many Japanese fans who proudly wears the jersey of their team through the streets of the host country. In this case, Megumi is in charge of translating her statements and the words of her compatriot into English. “In Japan it is a tradition because parents and elders teach children that it is important. Also because the cleaning workers in the stadium have a lot of things to do, that’s why we have to help them”, he communicates to us. “We like to keep all places clean. It’s a tradition,” Yui agrees.

A Japan fan after the win over Germany (Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
A Japan fan after the win over Germany (Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

It is common to see these fervent supporters in the Japan jersey. It is not strange to cross them with the blue shirt of those directed by Hajime Moriyasu. Another fan even tried to change the current shirt of his team with this chronicler, who was wearing at that time the substitute shirt that the Argentine team used in the 1999 pre-Olympic. “Change”, he proposed with a huge smile. “Not today”, he took in response to the offer. It is difficult to part with an heirloom, although on the streets of Doha it is a constant temptation to change shirts and fans from different countries can be seen exchanging shirts every day.

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The truth is that this action of the Samurai Blue to clean the stadiums is not new, some videos had already gone viral during the 2018 World Cup. The statements of the fans in Doha for infobae coincide with the explanation that Delia Mitsui, general director of pedagogy of the Nichia Gakuin Japanese-Argentine Private Institute, gave to this medium four years ago: “Why clean up what got dirty? That awareness and responsibility in Japan is strong, everyone respects it. Thinking of the other is natural and a priority, it is known that if one does not do things as he should, he harms others ”.

Gentle when it comes to being approached by this chronicler, in the hotel where he is staying infobae You could also see another slice of the culture of the Japanese fans who are in the same place. During the morning after the successful debut against Germany, the hotel lobby woke up with a surprise from a small fan: “I am 16 years old. I’m good at origami so I made this. Please accept it if you like it.” And we take one…

The gift of a Japanese teenager at the hotel where Infobae is staying
The gift of a Japanese teenager at the hotel where Infobae is staying

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