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Are you English fooligan?

I seem to have made it quite far without mentioning the World Cup, but I guess I wasn't going to be able to avoid talking about it for long, what with it unfolding on my doorstep and all. This article is absolutely correct in terms of its reading of the Japanese attitude towards the tournament, ie indifference mixed with fear of being swamped by violent hooligans.

Over the last week I've definitely noticed an increase in the number of soccerwear-clad foreigners wandering around Shinjuku and other areas; no mass rapes as yet, though. I'd like to find out which xenophobic moron came out with that one, go up to him and just be... really... foreign at him. Yeah. People often don't realise what an inherently racist country Japan is, nor do they understand Japan's uneasy relationship with foreigners; seeing how this country copes with hosting such a prestigious and cosmopolitan event as the World Cup for the first (and probably the last) time is bound to be morbidly fascinating.

Two nights ago I saw five armour-plated police buses, presumably stacked to the gills with riot cops, parked "discreetly" along Shinjuku-dori... that's a lot of batons. Presumably Roppongi's even worse, but don't expect me to find out in a hurry.

Let me just point out that I'm not the slightest bit anti-World Cup - in fact, I've got tickets to a couple of the games: England-Sweden tomorrow and England-Nigeria on the 12th, and I'm really looking forward to them. It's great to see so many people discovering Japan and I just hope that Tokyo's able to embrace the spirit and turn the games into what they should be - a truly global kick-ass party.

I'm about to pop in to Shinjuku for dinner, though, so if I get back tomorrow some time, having been arrested for having white skin and short hair, expect a totally different appraisal of Tokyo's ability to embrace anything.

Posted by chris at June 1, 2002 07:49 PM | Permalink

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