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.
Jingu stadiums, the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium and other sports facilities in Tokyo's Meiji Jingu Gaien district, where numerous historic matches have been held, are scheduled to be rebuilt after repeated land swaps, according to sources. (The Japan News)
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, became on Tuesday the nation's first municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing it to issue certificates recognizing same-sex relationships as being "equivalent to marriage." (Japan Times)
In the wake of the suspicious crash of a Germanwings jet, the transport ministry is moving quickly to require all Japanese airlines to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times during flights. (Asahi)
Three employees of a nursing home in Nagoya have been arrested on suspicion of physically abusing a 93-year-old female resident and taking a video of their act with a mobile phone, police have said. (Japan Times)
Public prosecutors demanded Tuesday that former Aum Supreme Truth cult member Katsuya Takahashi, 56, be sentenced to life in prison for his roles in the 1995 deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system and other crimes by the doomsday cult. (The Japan News)
An elementary school teacher in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, has been arrested after it was discovered that he had lied to a newspaper reporter regarding the presence of a foreign substance in a rice ball ("onigiri") lunch that he purchased at a convenience store. (Japan Today)
In the first application in Tokyo of a law that seeks to restrict the distribution of sexually explicit content for revenge purposes, police on Friday announced the arrest of a 50-year-old male for releasing illicit images of his former girlfriend, reports the Sankei Shimbun (March 27). (Tokyo Reporter)