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No time for the toilet: Tokyo water usage data shows people focused on World Cup


TOKYO -- Water usage data in the Japanese capital during the Samurai Blue's games against Germany on Nov. 23 and Costa Rica on Nov. 27 in the World Cup reflected how people were glued to their TVs instead of going to the toilet or having a bath.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Waterworks has released data on water usage mainly in central Tokyo around the time of Japan's World Cup matches on Nov. 23 and 27, and the average of three no-game days for Japan on Nov. 6, 13 and 20 to compare. On both Nov. 23 and 27, water distribution amounts began to drastically decrease from kickoff to about 80% of an average day. Water usage saw a surge during halftime, and dropped again as the second half of the games started. The amount grew far above the average again after the matches finished.

    A representative at the metro government said, "It can be presumed that many people watched games and put off acts using water such as going to the toilet, washing dishes and taking baths." The official said that significant water use swings like this appear during live broadcasts of major sporting events, especially when games continue at close to a non-stop pace like soccer. The representative added, "Perhaps many people were watching the games, feeling, 'It's not good if the match turns while I'm away.'"

    People's psychological differences were also reflected in the water distribution amounts between Nov. 23, when Japan clinched a historic victory against Germany, and Nov. 27, when Japan narrowly lost to Costa Rica.

    Costa Rica's Keysher Fuller scores a goal during the 2022 soccer World Cup Group E match between Japan and Costa Rica, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Nov. 27, 2022. (Mainichi/Tatsuya Fujii)

    The water usage amount increased in two steps after the game against Germany. The data showed that many people apparently basked in the afterglow of the historic win and would not leave their TVs quickly. In contrast, water usage grew a lot immediately after Japan lost to Costa Rica. Many people are thought to have quickly left their TVs.

    There was also a difference when Japan gave up a goal in both matches. Water usage slightly increased after Germany scored a goal in the first half. The metro government representative commented, "Maybe a lot of people got up from their seats to reset their mood after that blow." Meanwhile, water usage kept increasing toward the end of the game against Costa Rica, in which the latter scored a goal in the 36th minute of the second half -- in an apparentl sign of viewers' resignation.

    (Japanese original by Hidenori Kitamura, Tokyo City News Department)

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