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As a police helicopter circled overhead to keep a watchful eye on scores of anti-World Cup demonstrators outside the stadium, over 5,000 fans turned out to watch Japan’s first practice session Sunday, a day after the Asian champions arrived in Brazil for soccer’s showpiece tournament.

Huge cheers went up as the likes of AC Milan attacker Keisuke Honda and Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa came up the steps from the dressing room and walked out onto the sunbathed pitch at Sorocaba Municipal Stadium.

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