Tokyo: Brazilian football legend Pele visited a Japanese elementary school in a tsunami-hit region on Monday to offer encouragement to people trying to rebuild their lives after the disaster.
"I came to deliver encouraging words as a representative of the Brazilian people," Pele said at Fujigaoka Elementary School in Natori, Miyagi prefecture, according to Kyodo News.
He offered autographs and balls to children and brought donations such as blankets offered by Brazilian firms for people in the area, Jiji Press said.
Pele is visiting Japan to promote the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Northeast Japan was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left some 20,000 people dead or missing.
The disaster triggered meltdowns and explosions at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, some 90 kilometres (56 miles) south of the school, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from a 20-kilometre no-go zone around the plant.