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 foreign minister announced a $7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows. (Japan Today)
Japan on Monday began its annual "Cool Biz" campaign, which encourages workers to dress more casually to help reduce energy use, with government offices allowing polo shirts, Hawaiian-style aloha shirts and similar attire. (Japan Times)
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)