UPDATE: Could have been “a special WBC page set up on the Asahi shimbun’s web site”. Thanks to commenter ST
In an otherwise vividly descriptive article on Japan’s World Baseball Classic victory, it seems like the Wall Street Journal reporters may have made a slight error (emphasis mine):
Even workers who couldn’t watch the game live on television kept an eye on the contest. In Tokyo, three Japanese businessmen who were waiting for the subway huddled together staring at a mobile phone screen, tracking every pitch from a Web site.
I am pretty sure they must have been watching “1seg,” a mobile TV signal that’s become fairly common in Japan over the past three years or so. Scenes of strangers watching mobile TV together have become somewhat common in Japan, a sort of modern-day version of businessmen stopping to watch the sample TVs at the Sakuraya in front of Shimbashi Station. During pivotal sports games (Asia Cup soccer, Red Sox in the World Series, etc.), people seem willing to share their mobile TVs with onlookers. Maybe they don’t have much choice unless they want to be a jerk and turn it off, but all the same it’s a new and somewhat rare expression of community with strangers in this city.
(DISCLAIMER: This is not an essentialist statement about Japanese culture! I found Washington DC to be full of similarly detached and unfriendly strangers, as perhaps it should be to a certain extent).