The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) is based on the respective Joint Statements issued in January 1974 between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore and the Kingdom of Thailand. Brunei Darussalam, following the full independence and its admission to ASEAN in January 1984, joined the Program in 1985. The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam joined in 1996 following its admission to ASEAN in July 1995, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar joined in 1998 after both countries were admitted to ASEAN in July 1997. Furthermore, in 2000 the Kingdom of Cambodia also joined the Program following its admission to ASEAN in April 1999. The Program is carried out by the Government of Japan with the active participation and cooperation of these ten Southeast Asian countries.

In 2013, the 40th commemorative year of SSEAYP, the governmental representatives of 11 participating countries reviewed the history and outcome of SSEAYP, committed to the continuation of the program, considered the future vision of the program, affirmed their support, roles and responsibilities towards the success of the program, and signed the Joint Statement.

The aims of the Program are to promote friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and ten ASEAN member countries, to broaden their perspective on the world, and to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation and practical skills for international collaboration. With these objectives, we aim to cultivate youth who are capable of exercising their leadership in their respective fields in a globalizing society and contributing social progress including youth development. These aims can be achieved through participating in various exchange activities both onboard and in the countries to be visited.

“Through this program, I hope that the participants can fully understand the differences between each other and work together to create a lifetime friendship because SSEAYP relation is not a one-time thing.” 

 – Yamamoto Shigeki, Administrator for the 46th SSEAYP