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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his reflationary policy, dubbed Abenomics, on Friday while opposition leaders argued it is failing, after the House of Representatives was dissolved on the day for a snap election. (Jiji Press)
Japan's Lower House speaker has issued a very unusual order. He told lawmakers to redo their "banzai" cheers because some chimed in before he finished reading the official declaration to dissolve the chamber. (NHK)
Murder suspect Chisako Kakehi invested most of the about Y1 billion she inherited from her spouses and lovers in futures trading and other financial products over the past few years, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from investigative sources. (The Japan News)
A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in duck droppings collected Tuesday in the town of Nagara in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, the Environment Ministry said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Japanese public prosecutors on Friday demanded a prison sentence of 10 years for Yusuke Katayama, who is accused of hijacking other people's personal computers and using them to send online threats. (Jiji Press)
According to various Japanese news sources, 83-year-old retiree Yasuji Shibata was arrested for selling obscene material via an Internet auction in April for 3,400 yen (about US$28) after police found explicit photos in his home on November 16. (rocketnews24.com)
Police raided Internet proxy server operators across Japan on Wednesday over a spate of online banking fraud cases, with at least two of the operators suspected of helping illegal access from China. (Jiji Press)
Chinese fans expressed an outpouring of sorrow for the death of veteran Japanese actor Ken Takakura, who rocketed to stardom here and became an icon who could bridge the icy relations that exist between the two nations. (Asahi)