June 19, 2014 10:46 pm

Japan’s fans bag trash after World Cup game against Greece

Japan supporters collect rubbish on the stands after the group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Greece at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

NATAL, Brazil – Japan’s fans are among the world’s most spirited during a match – and polite after it.

For the straight second match, fans of the Blue Samurai shrugged off disappointment and cleaned up after themselves inside the stadium following the final whistle. It’s a class act that has its roots in Japan’s values of being respectful of hosts and protecting the environment.

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Japan lost their opening match 2-1 to Ivory Coast, and drew 0-0 with Greece on Thursday in a game it could have easily won.

Many fans of other teams might be tempted to go on a rampage after such results.

SEE MORE: Complete scores and group standings

Japan’s supporters pick up their garbage.

The spectacle of fans bagging trash after the Ivory Coast match in Recife appears to have created a contagious effect among the Japanese here in Brazil. After witnessing such scenes, Junichi Onoda, 33, said he was inspired to take part in the garbage collecting ritual in Natal.

“There was tons of trash in Recife,” Onoda said. “And when I saw our fans picking up all that garbage, I was so impressed.”

Maybe now fans of other teams will follow suit.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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