Fumio Kishida and Naomi Osaka posted a message to celebrate when Japan defeated Spain to advance to the top 16 of Shibuya

After the Japanese team defeated Spain 2-1 in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in the early morning of the 2nd, fans in Japan cheered excitedly and shed tears of joy. A large number of carnival victory crowds poured into the crossroads in Shibuya District, Tokyo. The police arrived at the scene and pulled up the yellow cordon to maintain order. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and even the world’s richest man Musk tweeted their celebrations.

Fans celebrate at Shibuya Crossing after Japan beat Spain to advance to the last 16 of the World Cup. (Reuters)

According to reports from Reuters and Agence France-Presse, Japan defeated Germany with a big upset in the first match of the World Cup group stage. Now they have advanced to the top 16 with the first place in Group E. They will compete with Croatia, the runner-up of the 2018 World Cup, for the top 8 tickets. Japan has reached the World Cup knockout three times, but they all failed at this stage.

A headline on the online edition of a Japanese media read: “Good news from Duha again! >, evoking memories of what the media dubbed the “Miracle of Doha” after Japan’s victory over Germany. Before sunrise, ecstatic fans chanting “Japan” poured into Shibuya Crossing, one of Tokyo’s iconic attractions, jumping up and down and shouting “Go, go, go!” as police struggled to control the flow.

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 01: Shuto Machino and Eiji Kawashima of Japan celebrate victory over Spain and qualification to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup  during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Japan and Spain at Khalifa International Stadium on December 1, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Japan beat Spain 2-1 at the World Cup in Qatar to advance to the round of 16. (Photo/Getty Images)

“I didn’t expect Japan to advance to the top of the group. Thank you Japan! I love you!” said Yusei Sato, 19, wearing the jersey of Japan’s Blue Samurai national team. (Takuya Kudo, tentative translation) I burst into tears when I saw the Japanese team win. “I’m so happy. Honestly, I never thought Japan would do so well. I’m really excited,” he said.

Shibuya Station is one of Tokyo’s busiest stations, where fans gather to high-five sleepy commuters on their way to work.

Netizens also celebrated the victory on social media, happily writing messages such as “Blue Warrior!”

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka celebrated on Twitter with a group photo of Japanese players whose heads were all replaced with classic manga characters, and even billionaire Elon Musk tweeted: “Congratulations Japan!”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters the victory was “historic” and congratulated Japan’s head coach Yasuichi Mori and Japan Football Association president Kozo Tajima. Fumio Kishida tweeted: “Coach Mori Yasuichi and the players were under tremendous pressure to achieve an outstanding result in the biggest and most crucial game ever. I want to pay my sincere respect to the team for their tireless efforts.” I told them that they gave courage and energy to the Japanese people. We are looking forward to the round of 16. Come on Japan!”

Editor: Qin Yingwen

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