English soccer fans have long been in need of some positive PR. Despite the fact the most fans think behaving badly is when they fail to call their girlfriends when they stay in the pub for just one more post-match pint, they're all labeled as hooligans.
But now they're getting some help from an unlikely source: their own government.
The British Embassy in Tokyo is distributing pamphlets to Japanese shopkeepers and others concerned that British hooligans will disrupt their country during the upcoming World Cup games there.
The pamphlets include advice on how to deal with British fans, such as extending traditional greetings - such as "hello and "how are you? - to include such buttering-up phrases as "England are a great team."
The embassy also has a handout for English fans coming to Japan, warning them not to get "a cultural red card. No going shirtless and no exposed tattoos are two bits of sage advice offered.
However, despite such PR innovations, the nation still seems a little nervous. Japanese TV has been showing footage of English fans running amok, and the city of Sapporo is bracing for a June 7 match between England and Argentina by planning to close shops all day.
So where will the Brits go to buy their beer and big sticks then?