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.
With the Ebola outbreak swiftly spreading in West Africa, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital opened to the press on Wednesday a special isolation ward for highly dangerous infectious diseases. (The Japan News)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)