• Kyodo

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Nearly half of all viewers in the Tokyo area watched the World Cup soccer match between Japan and Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday morning, Video Research Ltd., a ratings agency, said.

Nearly 43 percent of viewers in the Kanto region tuned in for the first half and almost 47 percent for the second, the agency said Monday.

The results were nearly identical in Kansai, where almost 40 percent caught the first half and 45 percent the second.

Viewership peaked at roughly 50 percent in both regions just before the final whistle blew in Japan’s 2-1 loss, broadcast on NHK.

In 2002, when Japan co-hosted the tournament with South Korea, a record 66 percent of viewers tuned in to see Japan play Russia in the World Cup in Yokohama.