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.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering on Tuesday to Tokyo's war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which has been a source of diplomatic friction between Japan and several of its Asian neighbors. (Kyodo)
Wrong and inappropriate names had temporarily appeared on Google Maps for the Imperial Palace, Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department and many other places in Japan, it was learned Monday. (Jiji Press)
Looking chipper, Paul McCartney arrived at Kansai International Airport here in a chartered plane on the morning of April 20 for the first time since the ex-Beatle canceled his entire Japan tour in May 2014 because of illness. (Asahi)
A teacher who buried five newborn kittens, four of which were still alive, on school grounds in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, has been charged with violating the law on welfare and management of animals. (Japan Today)
A man broke into an unattended "koban" (police box) at JR Odawara Station in Kanagawa Prefecture on Sunday night and smashed windows before mutilating both his cheeks with a knife, police said Monday. (Japan Today)
Police in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, are investigating the murder of an 84-year-old woman whose body was found in the Tatara River on April 15. She had a plastic bag over her head and a scarf pulled tightly around her neck when she was found. (Japan Today)
Investigators have found 7.85 million passwords, credit card numbers and other pieces of stolen personal information on an Internet server seized last year from a Tokyo-based firm that provided proxy servers for Chinese users, Tokyo police said Friday. (Japan Times)
Time magazine has named two Japanese among its list of the world's 100 most influential people of 2015: novelist Haruki Murakami and Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant whose book introducing her art of tidying up became a best-seller. (NHK)