A group of Thai youth soccer players, whose rescue from a flooded cave captured international attention last summer, took a VIP tour of the Japan Football Museum on Friday.
"My desire to become a professional soccer player is even stronger now," said Chanin Wibunrungrueang, after he and his teammates viewed the exhibits and received commemorative Japan national team uniforms.
Chanin, who was 11 at the time, was the youngest of the players rescued last July, through a massive international effort, after being trapped for more than two weeks in the Tham Luang Non cave complex in northern Thailand.
"I want to make money to help my parents," he said.
The players' tour was arranged by the Osaka manufacturer that produced luminescent materials used in the difficult rescue operation.
On Saturday, the players are slated to visit the J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture, where a friendly match is to be played.
The training center resumed soccer activities last summer after being used as a base in the cleanup effort of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.