Neymar, hailed as the "modern successor" to Pele, netted with a stunning half volley in the third minute to help Brazil beat Japan 3-0 in Group A. Paulinho and Jo added the other goals in the second half.
The win, Brazil's second straight after a 3-0 victory against France this week in a friendly, might lift some of the gloom surrounding the national team.
Even after topping France, Brazil had won just two of its past seven matches and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was being criticized for his less than free flowing style of play. Neymar wasn't immune to criticism, either.
Japan became the first nation to qualify for the World Cup but its defeat Saturday followed a 4-0 loss to Brazil in a friendly in October.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Japan for three days from March 18, as part of her campaign to promote education for women and volunteer activities in developing countries, the White House announced Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Microsoft Corp. cofounder Paul Allen said on Twitter Tuesday the Imperial Japanese Navy's World War II battleship Musashi has been found at the bottom of the Sibuyan Sea off the central Philippines. (Jiji Press)
The Cabinet on Tuesday signed off on a bill that would revise the adult entertainment business law to enable discos and nightclubs that offer dancing to operate past midnight as long as they meet interior lighting criteria. (Japan Times)
In the latest allegations of questionable political donations now aimed at top party leaders, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the main opposition party president are linked to contributions from companies after ministries awarded them subsidies, it was learned March 3. (Asahi)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday announced the arrest of a late-shift taxi driver from Joto Ward for allegedly raping a number of intoxicated female passengers, reports the Asahi Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)
A 65-year-old man who was arrested and jailed for causing trouble at a gasoline station in Mitaka, Tokyo, was rearrested after he returned to the same gas station upon his release and threatened the owner, police said Monday. (Japan Today)