Pizza deliveries and convenience store sales surged Sunday before and during the World Cup Group H match between Japan and Russia.

World Cup fever has substantially boosted demand for takeout and home-delivery meals as people have become glued to their TV sets, retail industry officials said.

Domino’s Pizza Japan said Sunday was its busiest day this year.

Domino’s doubled the number of employees at its outlets Sunday evening to respond to the flood of orders.

Sales at Domino’s were 1.4 times over usual figures on Sundays, according to company officials, adding that the figure is significant because sales on a usual Sunday are about four times that of an average weekday.

On June 4, when Japan and Belgium faced off, sales were up 2.2 times more than that on an average weekday.

“More people were staying at home, and that had a direct impact on sales,” a Domino’s official said. “With soccer, you can’t turn your eyes away even for a second, and so there were probably more people who decided not to cook.”

Convenience stores also benefited from the increase in TV viewers. An hour before the Japan-Russia match, many people were seen buying up drinks and snacks, industry officials said.

On average during the game, 66.1 percent of the television audience in the Kanto region was tuned in to Sunday’s match, the second-highest figure in the history of Japanese sports broadcasting, Video Research said Monday. The rating hit a high of 81.9 percent at around 10:20 p.m., immediately after Japan sealed its victory, the firm said. The viewer rating for the Japan-Belgium match Tuesday was 58 percent.

An official at Kirin Brewery Co., which is selling beverages in special World Cup cans, said, “A lot of people were buying six-packs of ‘happoshu’ (low-malt beer) cans that support the Japanese team.”

Meanwhile, restaurants and amusement facilities not catering to World Cup viewers did not fare well amid Sunday’s soccer craze.

Fukuoka-based Royal Co., which runs the Royal Host restaurants, saw sales fall 7 percent on June 4 compared with an ordinary weekday.

Even pachinko players are neglecting their usual hobby to watch the World Cup. Dynam Co., a Tokyo-based company that runs 118 pachinko parlors, said its number of customers declined 35 percent during the Japan-Belgium match.

Osaka revelers get wet

OSAKA — About 140 soccer fans jumped into the Dotonbori River here Sunday night in celebration of Japan’s 1-0 win over Russia in the World Cup match in Yokohama, according to police.

About 80 people took the plunge from Ebisubashi Bridge, in the heart of Minami Ward, while about 60 others did the same from other bridges in the ward, police said Monday. No one was hurt, they added.

Many soccer fans began gathering near Ebisubashi Bridge, widely regarded as the center of the Dotonbori entertainment district, at around 10:20 p.m. Sunday as Japan headed for its historic World Cup victory, they said.

The crowd on the bridge soon swelled to about 600. Osaka Prefectural Police responded by mobilizing 450 police officers and sealing off the bridge.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man rode his motorcycle into a group of police officers who were corralling soccer fans on a street in Dotonbori at around 11:10 p.m.

The man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police, who said they are investigating the motive behind the man’s dangerous actions.

At the nearby Osaka Dome, where about 21,000 people gathered to watch the match, the crowd went crazy when local hero Junichi Inamoto scored the only goal of the match shortly after the start of the second half, sources said. Inamoto also scored a goal in Japan’s opening match with Belgium.

Japan will play Tunisia in its final first-round match Friday at Osaka’s Nagai Stadium. Japan needs just a tie to advance to the second round.

Streaker arrested

Police arrested a man early Monday after he stripped naked near Shin-Yokohama Station to celebrate Japan’s 1-0 victory over Russia in a World Cup finals match earlier that evening.

Toshiharu Tomono, 23, performed his strip in a public space near the north exit of JR Shin-Yokohama Station shortly before 1 a.m. Police said he was cheered on by some 100 supporters, who were chanting, “Nippon, Nippon.”

A tense situation arose between police and the soccer fans following Tomono’s arrest, but the crowd eventually dissipated and the area had cleared out by around 2 a.m., police said.

Halftime toilet rush

Tap water consumption in Tokyo jumped by a factor of 1.5 when Sunday’s World Cup soccer match between Japan and Russia entered its break, possibly due to halftime toilet flushing by TV spectators, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Waterworks.

The bureau said water consumption during the five minutes after the match entered halftime at around 9:15 p.m. jumped by 88,000 cu. meters on a one-hour basis.

It can be calculated that about 8.8 million people went to the toilet during the five minutes, an official of the bureau said, adding it was the steepest increase ever.

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