Japanese football fans were spotted cleaning up the trash at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar after their team made a historic 2-1 victory over Germany in a FIFA World Cup match on Wednesday.
The FIFA World Cup posted a video on Twitter of Japanese fans packing trash into plastic bags and making sure the stadium was clean when they left it. The video has since gone viral, and their ethics won international praise.
Tidying up after one of their greatest #FIFAWorldCup wins 👏
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 24, 2022
In another Twitter post, FIFA thanked the Japanese players for cleaning and tidying up their changing room after the game.
The team folded their towels and arranged the food containers on the counter before leaving their locker room with a note of gratitude and 11 origami cranes.
“Fans and players alike, it’s all class from Japan,” FOX Soccer said on Twitter.
After an historic victory against Germany at the #FIFAWorldCup on Match Day 4, Japan fans cleaned up their rubbish in the stadium, whilst the @jfa_samuraiblue left their changing room at Khalifa International Stadium like this. Spotless.
Domo Arigato.👏🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/NuAQ2xrwSI
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 23, 2022
Japanese fans were also spotted cleaning up the stadium after an opening match between Qatar and Ecuador, despite their own team not playing. The Sports Network captured this moment and posted it on TikTok.
When asked why they helped clean up a match that did not involve their national team, one fan responded, “Japanese never leave rubbish behind us, we respect the place.”
Japanese fans behaved similarly when their team lost to Belgium at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A Japanese fan who left a comment on FIFA’s Twitter post explained that Japanese are taught the custom beginning from elementary school.
“It’s a common thing in schools at Japan, it’s been like this from who knows when. I have seen children from other countries doing the same thing, though I’ve never asked what they think about it. It’s not like everyone in Japan thinks this custom is great, but we just accept it,” the user wrote.
“In Japan, ‘appreciation’ and ‘respect’ are permeated as a public morals,” another Japanese fan commented.