I, like so many around the world, have been enjoying this year’s World Cup in Russia. As my national team (Scotland) was not competing I am a neutral, and as many neutrals do, I picked a team to follow and support. The team I chose was Belgium and while I was pleased to see them advance I was more than a little sad to see Japan go out of the tournament, so I wanted to let the people of Japan know how well your team and fans have been regarded in my country.

First to your fans, many here admire them for their good-spirited support of their team and generous praise of the performances of their opponents. And we just love the way they clean up at the end of matches.

To your team, I must say they have won a lot of fans here for the effort and desire to play attacking soccer while at the same time showing fairness and humility.

The Blue Samurai are now out of the tournament, but they and their fans have left an indelible image that many in the world have noticed and have thus done great credit to your country. I hope to see them again, in 2022.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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