Japan's footballers are leaving Brazil disappointed by their early exit from the Confederations Cup, and saddened by the extent of public anger towards the government.
Ahead of Japan's final match against Mexico, coach Alberto Zaccheroni urged Brazil's government to listen to demonstrators demanding an end to corruption and better investment in public services.
In the northeastern city of Salvador, where protests have turned more violent than in Belo Horizonte, the Italy squad has avoided leaving its hotel.
But the Japanese feel safe in the streets of Belo Horizonte, which is north of Rio de Janeiro.
"We are very well protected," Japan midfielder Yasuhito Endo said through a translator. "I do not feel or sense it is dangerous going outside and the members of the Japanese team have gone out for a walk without any problems and we have not felt any danger at all."
The Japanese have played in Brasilia, where they lost to Brazil on Saturday, and Recife, where they went down 4-3 to Italy in Group A.
Japan's job availability rose in December to its best level in 22 years while the unemployment rate improved to 3.4 percent, suggesting that companies are willing to hire more workers as corporate profits recover, the government said Friday. (Kyodo)
A Nagoya University student who says she killed an elderly woman found dead in the 19-year-old's apartment has also admitted poisoning a former high school classmate, investigative sources said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Police in Saitama Prefecture said Thursday they have arrested 11 people who, as part of an organized scam group, call up individuals claiming that they had missed a payment for using a website that is actually free to use. (Japan Today)
Paul McCartney, who had to cancel all his concerts in Japan last year due to an illness, announced on his blog Thursday that he will return to Japan for four concerts in April as part of his "Out There" world tour. (Japan Today)
Police have arrested a 19-year-old girl on suspicion of killing a 77-year-old woman. The girl, who is a student at Nagoya University, was quoted by police as saying she wanted to kill someone and that anyone would do, NTV reported Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Last week, officers from the Yotsuya Police Station in Tokyo took Takahiro Arimoto, the 44-year-old manager of massage parlor Honey Candle and one other employee into custody for the harmful employment of minors, a violation under the Labor Standards Act. (Tokyo Reporter)
Workers have begun tearing down structures at a train station here that was devastated in the deadly tsunami of 2011, citing the danger of collapse they pose to the growing number of visitors to the site. (Asahi)